Bridge Safety Expert Declares MLK Bridge Deadliest in Region — St. Louis Car Wreck Attorney

By February 24, 2009Traffic Safety

As I have blogged here before, safety experts believe the MLK Bridge connecting St. Louis to East St. Louis needs substantial safety improvements. According to a Feb. 8 article in the Belleville News-Democrat, a bridge safety expert from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts has added his voice to that chorus. Professor Malcolm Ray studied deaths on the MLK Bridge and the nearby Poplar Street Bridge and concluded that drivers on the MLK Bridge were 25 times more likely to die in a serious car accident.
The article says one reason is the bridge’s width. The four lanes on the MLK bridge are each 10 feet wide, which is narrower than lanes on neighboring bridges and two feet below federal safety standards. This gives motorists no place to pull over if they have trouble while crossing the river. It also poses dangers when sharing the road with large tractor-trailers and semi trucks, some of whose width might exceed the width of the lane.
Another reason for the consistent safety problems, said the professor, is that the bridge was never intended for tractor-trailers and other large vehicles in the first place, especially at high speeds. The Illinois and Missouri transportation departments are studying measures that might help, including banning large trucks, reducing the number of lanes and installing a center barrier to prevent crossover accidents.
As a St. Louis car accident lawyer, I look forward to the results of that study. If this bridge truly is 25 times more deadly than the Poplar Street Bridge just down the river, it’s time for action. A narrow, crowded bridge doesn’t give motorists much room to take evasive action in the event of an emergency, or any room at all to pull over when they must. Worse, it increases the probability that one accident will turn into a chain reaction, since other drivers will have little room to avoid a crash that takes place right in front of them.
We drive so much that it’s easy to forget how serious car accidents can be. In my practice as a Missouri car crash attorney, I see the worst kind of results every day: unnecessary, wrongful deaths and permanent disabilities from brain damage, spinal injuries and severe burns. Frequently, these injuries also come with medical costs in the six or seven figures. When someone else’s careless driving is responsible, I can help my clients alleviate some of the effects of these injuries by winning compensation for their costs and injuries in a Missouri auto accident lawsuit
Carey, Danis & Lowe offers free consultations to victims of traffic accidents on the MLK Bridge or anywhere else in Missouri and southern Illinois. If you believe you were seriously hurt because of someone else’s carelessness and you’d like to learn more about your options, you can contact us online for a free consultation or call toll-free at 1-877-678-3400.