I read with great interest today a piece on the WFTV Orlando website about the notoriously dangerous curve on Interstate 4 as it passes over Fairbanks Avenue here in Winter Park. The story dealt primarily with a Pepsi truck that had lost control during rainy weather, jack-knifed, and blocked traffic on I-4 for over an hour.
What got me upset, particularly as an Orlando accident attorney who has represented hundreds of motorists in Interstate 4 crashes over the years, was the part of the piece explaining why the Fairbanks curve remains dangerous after years of serious accidents there.
According to WFTV, the Florida Department of Transportation is well aware that the curve is dangerous and poorly engineered. A spokesman for Florida D.O.T. indicated that the curve needs a better-engineered system to channel the water away from the lanes of travel. As it stands, water gathers on the flat part of the road, causing unsuspecting vehicles to hydroplane and, many times, lose control.
According to the piece, there have been six major crashes on the Fairbanks curve in 2011. This is obviously far too many crashes. Regardless of budget challenges, the State of Florida needs to get this problem fixed right away. Not moving to correct a known problem could expose the Florida D.O.T. to liability for one of these serious crashes.
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