In the aftermath of the August 27 fuel tanker accident in Sarasota, there has been much discussion of the role played by the cable barrier in the median between the northbound and southbound lanes on Interstate 75. Although no one was killed in the crash, the cable barrier was obviously incapable of preventing the tanker from crossing the median.
The general consensus is that the cable barriers are effective. The Florida Highway Patrol claims they’ve saved numerous lives since their installation in 2007, a project that cost $5.3 million. But they are most effective with smaller vehicles. Larger vehicles, particularly commercial tractor trailers and vehicles like the fuel tanker in the recent crash, are barely protected at all by the barriers. The risk to motorcyclists is considerable for a different reason: the cables themselves are level with either a biker’s torso or legs, depending on the type of crash, and may be more dangerous than helpful.
One other problem with the cable barriers is that, in the aftermath of an accident, there is commonly a lag between the accident and the completion of necessary repairs. In the meantime, the barriers are compromised, and in the event of a crash along a stretch of highway with damaged barriers, the risk of serious injury or death increases dramatically. If the Florida Department of Transportation is aware of compromises in the cable barrier system and fail to make necessary repairs in time, they could be liable in the event of a serious crash.
If you have been injured in a car accident or if you believe a loved one may have survived were it not for a faulty or compromised highway cable barrier, reach out to a Sarasota County personal injury lawyer with Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni & Walsh today.