As drivers make their way from southbound Interstate 285 and onto eastbound Interstate 20 in Atlanta, they likely feel a strong pull during the quick transition from 70 to 35 mph as they make their way around the 180-degree off-ramp. Aside from the slightly giddy sensation that the experience may produce in some drivers, they would be wise to feel uneasy about all of the black tire marks left on road surface by drivers who did not fully anticipate the turn they were about to make.
Over the last year and a half, there have been at least 10 accidents involving a truck rollover or sideswipe on this small stretch of road—five of which occurred between this past November and January. As verified in the investigation by Atlanta’s own Channel 2 Action News, there are not any flaws inherent in the off-ramp's engineering or construction. In fact, other off-ramps just like this one are all around the city.
Rather, there are a number of cosmetic issues that Herman Hill—an engineer consultant asked by Channel 2 Action News to assess the situation—identifies as factors that probably contribute to the high accident rate, including: a line of trees that prevent drivers from seeing what lies ahead, a series of confusing signs that seem to indicate that there is no turn at all, and what Hill refers to as an optical illusion that causes drivers to believe they will continue to travel straight ahead rather than make the 180-degree turn.
Though GDOT plans to take further measures to help prevent accidents on this particular off-ramp, similar issues are found on roadways all across the country. With that in mind, some municipalities may be held liable for their failure to reasonably protect the safety of drivers.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a rollover accident, speak with an attorney at the Willis Law Firm to assess what legal action may be available to you by calling our offices at 800-883-9858 today.