Will Highway 53 See Much Needed Safety Improvements?
The headline is far too common — Multiple Car Wrecks On Highway 53! Along this stretch of highway from Huntsville to Ardmore, it’s not unusual for paramedics and police to work multiple accidents at the same time. A WAFF story from April is a common example. The story reports three ongoing accidents along Highway 53 at different intersections.
This section of Highway from Ardmore into Huntsville suffers heavy congestion, especially at rush hours. And, it also has multiple dangerous intersections. A simple Google search for some of the intersections along Highway 53 will produce multiple reports of serious and fatal car accidents. The news channels regularly report fatal crashes at several of the intersections along Highway 53. I’ve written prior articles about the most dangerous intersections in Madison County. This stretch of roadway contains several of them.
For example, consider the major intersection at Highway 53 and Research Park Boulevard. Through the years, our lawyers have represented numerous people injured in wrecks at that intersection. You will find numerous and tragic news stories about fatal crashes at that intersection. I don’t suggest a Google search to highlight tragic events. Instead, I think it is important to recognize dangerous intersections so we can advocate for important safety improvements. When you see repeated tragedies at the same location, something should be done to fix it.
A Busy Traffic Route Into The Huntsville Area
A news article earlier this month reported that Highway 53 carries almost 30,000 cars each day. The article discusses how this route is a main artery for people coming to work in Huntsville. It is. The article continues by reporting that traffic along the northern part of Highway 53 has increased by 50% in the last five years and that the road is terribly overburdened. It is overburdened and remains only two lanes at the northern end.
This stretch of highway is also a prime artery from Huntsville to I-65 for motorists traveling back and forth to Tennessee. This area is a top long-term priority for the City of Huntsville. It should be one of our top priorities. The reasons involve both safety and growth.
We often write about distracted driving. When you add distractions to an already overburdened and dangerous roadway, the danger of serious accidents is greatly increased.
A Years-Long Push For Safety Improvements
Outside of safety and injury issues, I usually don’t mention political matters. But, our local legislators have long pushed for needed improvements along this roadway. Their effort has been ongoing for years. One local legislator representing the area along Highway 53, Andy Whitt, has worked tirelessly to keep this issue before the public and legislature. He has seen the accident toll in the families he represents and expressed his feelings to news outlets:
I have buried friends. I have buried my childrens’ friends. I’ve buried coworkers families…and I’m tired of burying, going to funerals, because of the results of highway 53.
Ask our local representatives and they will readily show you the statistics indicating that many of the most dangerous intersections in Madison County are located along Highway 53. These intersections can, and should be, improved for drivers.
The residents along Highway 53 have also seen far too many deadly crashes. One resident who lives near the intersection of Highway 53 and Pulaski Pike told a WAFF48 reporter:
We’ve seen I don’t know how many people killed right here. They run the stop sign and that’s what causes all of them…
We need something with more protection, either a red light out here, or something that warns people there is a stop sign out here.
A business owner at the intersection of Highway 53 and Old Railroad Bed Road told the same WAFF48 reporter:
We’ve had vehicles come through our parking lot, come close to the building. Literally upside down, you’ve heard the expression and on fire, we had vehicle by our building and upside down.
You can read the entire WAFF48 article title — State representative taking on Highway 53 and its history of crashes. During our years of handling accident and injury cases, we’ve seen serious crashes at every one of these intersections along Highway 53. We’ve handled multiple cases at many of these intersections. As part of our work, we’ve investigated the crashes, inspected the scenes and studied the traffic movement in the areas. This roadway NEEDS safety improvements to protect the lives of our families, friends and neighbors.
A New Project To Improve Safety And Reduce Car Accidents
Planning agencies recently approved new Highway 53 improvment projects. These projects include widening more areas of Highway 53. They also include improvements for intersections such as Harvest Road, McKee Road and Old Railroad Bed Road. You can click the link below for the complete article:
The Huntsville area is rapidly growing. This puts an added traffic burden on roads that already had safety issues. Our local communities have prioritized and planned for improvements. It’s important that we continue to push for work that will reduce accidents and save driver lives. While this work is ongoing, it’s also important we pay attention to highway work crews so that they can complete these projects without injuries to workers.
From its office in downtown Huntsville, the Blackwell Law Firm helps families across Alabama following a serious personal injury or wrongful death. We are happy to answer your questions about Alabama law or personal injury issues. Consultations are always free and confidential.