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Posted on 01-28-2017

I-83 Pepsi Sign Continues to Contribute to Baltimore Auto Accident Injuries

As a Baltimore Chiropractor, I spend the majority of my clinic time treating patients with headaches, neck pain, and back pain. About half of the patients that we treat have been injured in Baltimore auto accidents. Typically these patients were running errands or commuting to and from work on seemingly normal days when their lives were changed forever as a result of an auto accident.

As part of our intake process we try to determine what it is that brings a patient into the office (i.e. Baltimore auto accident, Baltimore worker's compensation injury, sports related injury, over-exertion, etc). When we evaluate a new Baltimore auto accident injury patient, we ask more questions and we typically try to determine where the patient was driving prior to their crash. For nearly 4.5 years now I have been seeing an alarming trend where many of our patients are being injured on I-83 "near the Pepsi sign" in Hamden. Many daily commuters know that stretch of the elevated highway, where the road bends ever so slightly and speed limits are only 50 mph. Now that we are a few weeks away from opening our second clinic location in Baltimore (6810 Park Heights Avenue Suite C4, Baltimore, MD 21215) I routinely take I-83 to drive between the two clinics. Nearly each day I see either near miss crashes on this stretch of the highway, or I see an actual crash with paramedics racing to the scene to help injured parties.

I read an article in the Baltimore Sun this past week that addressed the topic of auto accidents on I-83 near the Pepsi Sign. It is estimated that there are between 250-300 crashes on I-83 each year. Over the course of the year it averages out to nearly one per day. The JFX is thought to accommodate over 100,000 driver's daily. State officials have become increasingly concerned with the number of Baltimore auto accidents that occur on this stretch of highway. As a result they have commissioned a $65,000 study to determine problem areas over the highway and to develop some solutions to these problems.

While it is thought that less than favorable geometry, tight curves and high traffic volume are thought to be the major contributors to the sheer number of crashes on the highway, no formal study has yet been conducted to conclude if these are the reasons for the crash. Further, state officials suspect that most people driving on I-83 are traveling faster than the posted speed limit of 50 mph because they are used to traveling faster on the 695 Beltway. Additionally, as I noted in previous blog posts, elevated roadways can freeze before surface roads, which leads to more icy crashes in temperatures at or near 32 degrees.

City officials are trying to have Maryland State Police extend their jurisdiction to I-83, whereas right now it falls under Baltimore City Police jurisdiction. City officials want the Baltimore city police to focus on more pressing issues such as crime and drugs and feel that the Baltimore city police are spread to thin having to responds to I-83 Baltimore auto accidents. However Maryland State Troopers reportedly oversee over 200 miles of highway and are strained as it is.

Whether you are a city resident and use I-83 for your daily commute or just someone who comes to the city on weekends for the great entertainment and night life, we all need to do our part to obey the posted speed limit of 50 mph on the JFX. The old infrastructure and winding roads lead to an abundance of Baltimore auto accidents and we all need to do our part to slow down and help our commutes move along smoothly.

If you, or someone you know, has been injured as a result of a Baltimore auto accident injury, please call Mid-Atlantic Spinal Rehab & Chiropractic at (443) 842-5500. We would be happy to help!

Dr. Gulitz

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