The motorist who crossed the center line and was killed on Mike Padgett Highway has continued to draw attention to the issue of poorly kept roads in Georgia. Because of the highway defect, much-needed improvements to the highway have been scheduled.
The female-driver, age 30, died in the early evening after pulling out of a mobile home park, crossing the double-yellow lines, and striking a logging truck traveling in the opposite direction. According to the coroner, the driver died of blunt force trauma from the collision.
The second passenger in the vehicle was a young child, age 7, who was treated at a local hospital for injuries that were not life-threatening.
Specifics of Mike Padgett Highway Construction Plans
Poorly maintained roads are dangerous for motorists. Mike Padgett Highway is currently scheduled to have around $22 million in repairs. Some of the funding is specifically earmarked for a raised concrete median across the center of the highway.
A concrete median acts as a barrier that is intended to protect against the kind of cross-median crash that killed the motorist in the recent crash.
The highway construction is scheduled for the middle of 2013, according to the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDP). The GDP must first purchase the right-of-way to widen the highway to make room for the median and the new lanes. This is the final implementation of the project that has the start of the construction delayed.
This is an extremely dangerous highway in Georgia. Authorities report that at least two fatalities have resulted each year since 1996 and eight deadly accidents occurred in 2008 alone.
Authorities suggest that motorists proceed with extra caution down this stretch of highway until the necessary changes are put into action.
Dangers of Poor Highway Maintenance
Poorly maintained highways can cause a number of issues. Without proper maintenance, potholes can cause tires to blow-out, especially on highways and at higher speeds. Road markers and lines that are faded or poorly drawn can be disastrous for motorists, particularly in extreme weather conditions and at night.
Lack of designated turn lanes can create erratic breaking and stopping in areas that are meant to have a steady high-speed flow of traffic. All of these maintenance issues create an atmosphere of danger. The chance of serious injuries, property damage and even fatalities generally increase when highways are poorly kept.