The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) is responsible for maintaining roadway safety in Rhode Island. The RIDOT may work with local departments of public works and other organizations to carry out these duties. However, when a roadway is not maintained properly, either due to oversight, negligence, lack of funding, or other reasons, hazardous roadways can cause serious accidents resulting in injuries and fatalities.
Rhode Island Roadway Safety Statistics
Rhode Island may be the smallest state in the nation, but it’s not small in terms of road miles. According to the RIDOT, as of 2011, Rhode Island has:
- 6,523 miles of roadways;
- 806 bridges;
- 777 traffic signals; and
- 115 traffic cameras.
Rhode Island is unfortunately notorious for having more than its fair share of potholes, which are major road hazards. Bridges are of particular concern when it comes to Rhode Island roadway hazard risks. In 2011, the RIDOT estimated that 171 of the state’s bridges, or 21 percent of the total, were “structurally deficient” in some way. An additional 216 bridges, or 27 percent of the total, were rated “functionally obsolete.” Lastly, 25 bridges, or 3.1 percent of the total, were closed due to safety issues.
Although the huge losses due to injury, death and property damage in Rhode Island car accidents are well-known, according to The World Health Organization (WHO) solutions to traffic injuries have been neglected.
Car accidents are predictable and largely preventable, WHO says. In addition to raising safety awareness among drivers and improving the safety of vehicles, effective interventions include designing safer infrastructure and incorporating road safety features into land-use and transportation planning.
But until state and local governments can make changes to deal with congested roads, antiquated traffic controls, confusing intersections and other infrastructure problems, it’s useful for drivers to know which roads threaten their safety the most.
Drawing from multiple sources, here are some of the most dangerous roads in New England, many of which are in Rhode Island.
Most Dangerous Interstates in New England
It’s no surprise that many of the worst accidents occur on interstate highways. High speeds and urban congestion combine to make these superhighways dangerous.
The mother road in New England is Interstate 95, which runs from the Canadian border through the Northeast and Middle Atlantic states south to Miami. According to a Daily Beast survey of data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 39 car accident fatalities on I-95 in Rhode Island from 2004 to 2008, 85 fatalities in Connecticut and 64 in Massachusetts.
Along I-95 in Rhode Island, GoLocalProv ranks I-95 Exit 29 in Pawtucket (U.S. 1/Broadway/Cottage Street) as No. 2 on its 2014 list of most dangerous intersections in New England. The intersection saw 191 crashes with 55 injuries and two fatalities over three years.
Also on I-95 in Rhode Island:
- I-95 Exit 18 in Providence (Thurbers Avenue) is No. 4 on GoLocalProv’s list, with 296 crashes, 1 fatality and 79 injuries.
- I-295 (I-95 spur) Exit 6 in Johnston (U.S. 6/U.S. 6A) is No. 9 on GoLocalProv’s list with 179 crashes, 1 fatality and 54 injuries.
- I-95 Exit 14 and 15 in Warwick (R.I. 37 and Jefferson Boulevard) is No. 10 on GoLocalProv’s list with 181 crashes, 1 fatality and 50 injuries.
On I-95 in Connecticut, more than 10 percent of all accidents occur along an 8-mile stretch around Norwalk, where there are 735 crashes annually, according to the Connecticut Post and Popular Mechanics.
On other interstates in New England:
- I-93 in Massachusetts saw 67 crash fatalities from 2004 to 2008.
- I-91 in Connecticut saw 56 crash fatalities from 2004 to 2008.
- I-84 in Connecticut saw 55 crash fatalities from 2004 to 2008.
New England State Roads With Dangerous Intersections
The most dangerous intersection in New England according to GoLocalProv’s 2014 survey is the Merritt Parkway at Mile Marker 46.42-47.03 in New Haven, Conn. It has seen 561 crashes over three years, which caused 125 injuries but no fatalities.
The rest of the GoLocalProv Top 10 for New England (not including the Rhode Island interstates above) include:
- Mystic Avenue and Fellsway in Somerville, Mass., 91 crashes, 3 fatalities, 24 injuries.
- U.S. Post Road SB and Kings Factory Road to R.I. 216 (Ross Hill Road) in Charlestown, R.I., with 51 crashes, three fatalities and eight injuries.
- Route 17 at Mile Marker 21.55 to 22.14 in Middletown, Conn., with 372 crashes, 107 injuries and no fatalities.
- R.I. 138 (Spring Street) and Wincheck Pond Road to Soap House Lane in Hopkinton, R.I., with 4 crashes, 3 fatalities and no other injuries.
- R.I. 2 Reservoir Ave. and R.I. 12 (Park Avenue) in Cranston, R.I., with 234 crashes, 1 fatality and 47 injuries.
Individual States’ Most Hazardous Roadways
The Top 3 most dangerous roads in each New England state, according to GoProvLocal are:
Rhode Island Dangerous Roads
- I-95 at Exit 29 (U.S. 1/Broadway/Cottage Street) in Pawtucket, with 191 crashes, 2 fatalities and 55 injuries.
- I-95 at Exit 18 (Thurbers Avenue) in Providence, with 296 crashes, 1 fatality and 79 injuries.
- U.S. Post Road SB and Kings Factory Road to R.I. 216 (Ross Hill Road) in Charlestown, with 51 crashes, 3 fatalities and 8 injuries.
Massachusetts Dangerous Roads
- Mystic Avenue and Fellsway in Somerville, with 91 crashes, 3 fatalities and 24 injuries.
- Revere Beach Parkway and Washington Avenue in Chelsea, with 39 crashes, 2 fatalities and 11 injuries.
- Canton Street and School Street in Stoughton, with 39 crashes, 2 fatalities and 10 injuries.
Connecticut Dangerous Roads
- Merritt Parkway at Mile Marker 46.42-47.03 in New Haven, with 561 crashes, 125 injuries and no fatalities.
- Route 17 at Mile Marker 21.55-22.14 in Middletown, with 372 crashes, 107 injuries and no fatalities.
- Route 44 at Mile Marker 53.63 (Route 44 and Main Street) in Hartford, with 129 crashes, 38 injuries and no fatalities.
Maine Dangerous Roads
- Portland Road, Willis Park Road and Portland Road, Sandy Creek Road in Bridgton, with 20 crashes, 2 fatalities and 6 injuries.
- Broadway, Hobart Street and Broadway, Burleigh Road, Griffin Road in Bangor, with 33 crashes, 1 fatality and 13 injuries.
- Old Greene Road and Randall Road, Sabattus Street in Lewiston, with 33 crashes, 1 fatality and 9 injuries.
New Hampshire Dangerous Roads
- N.H. 285 (Beech Street) and Cilley Road in Manchester, with 20 crashes, 23 injuries and no fatalities.
- Main Street and East Hollis Street/West Hollis Street in Nashua, with 25 crashes, 14 injuries and no fatalities.
- N.H. 9 (Loudon Road) and Fort Eddy Road/I-93 NB Exit 14 Off-Ramp in Concord, with 29 crashes, 12 injuries and no fatalities.
Vermont Dangerous Roads
- U.S. 7 and U.S. 4 in Rutland City, with 40 crashes, 1 fatality and 6 injuries.
- U.S. 7, E. Canal Street and W. Allen Street, VT 15, W. Center Street in Winooski City, with 103 crashes, 23 injuries and no fatalities.
- Colchester Avenue and Barrett Street in Burlington, with 20 crashes, 5 injuries and no fatalities.
Our Dangerous Road Accident Attorney Can Help the Victims of the Following Types of Dangerous Road Conditions in New England
The most common roadway hazards that can cause serious accidents and injuries include the following:
- Poor road design: width of lanes may not be adequate, or curves may be angled too steeply.
- Road wear and tear: potholes, cracks, and other hazards can cause accidents if the road is not properly maintained.
- Lighting: inadequate or broken lighting can make it impossible for drivers to see signs, obstacles, and pedestrians.
- Weather: winter weather driving can result in accidents. Rain, wind, and fog can also make roads dangerous, even if the temperature is above freezing. Sometimes poor drainage of roadways increases the build-up of ice or water, causing slippery surfaces.
- Signals and signs: malfunctioning traffic signals and signs that are missing, broken or obscured may result in accidents.
- Road construction: construction zones increase the risk of accidents for both motorists and workers. Lanes and turns that are too narrow, insufficient signage, and other hazards can all cause accidents.
- Improperly installed, broken, or missing rails: guardrails are designed to prevent more serious accidents by keeping cars on the road and out of ditches, ravines, and other dangerous conditions. When a guardrail is broken or hasn’t been installed properly, serious injuries can result.
What Type of Injuries Can a Hazardous Road Accident Cause?
Injuries and fatalities in accidents caused by road hazards are less common in Rhode Island than those caused by reckless behaviors, like drunk driving, distracted driving, or speeding. However, these accidents can cause both deaths and serious injuries. Some injuries that may result from a roadway hazard include:
- traumatic brain injury (TBI);
- spinal cord injuries (SCI);
- fractures to one or more bones;
- whiplash and other soft tissue injuries;
- scarring, lacerations, or abrasions; and
- burn injuries.
Drivers who suddenly swerve to avoid roadway hazards can cause serious accidents. Roadway hazards also endanger more than just drivers and their passengers. Pedestrians and bicyclists may also be placed at higher risk of injury and death, especially if a roadway hazard blocks drivers’ lines of sight so they cannot see pedestrians and bicyclists in time to avoid an accident. Pedestrians and bicyclists can also be endangered by cracks, potholes, and other pavement hazards.
Hurt in a Rhode Island Car Crash? We Can Help
While some roads are more dangerous than others, a serious car accident can happen virtually anywhere. If you have been injured in a car accident or have lost a loved one in a crash anywhere in Rhode Island, Connecticut or Massachusetts, you need help from an experienced and trusted personal injury attorney.
At Marasco & Nesselbush we have one simple goal: to obtain extraordinary results for each and every client. Our attorneys have decades of experience with getting extraordinary results for people who have been hurt in car accidents. Since 1999, our firm has helped crash victims recover full and fair compensation. Find out how we can put that experience to work for you today.
To discuss your case for free with an experienced Providence hazardous accident lawyer, contact us online or call us now.