Between 2007 and 2008 there were 32 accidents on Smithtown Road – County Road 16. This summer, Suffolk County is finally making improvements intended to increase the street’s safety, according to Newsday.
A consultant’s study sponsored by Suffolk County found that speeding was a major problem. The consultant found that 85 percent of Smithtown Boulevard drivers were driving 45 mph to 49 mph, though the road has a posted speed limit of 35 mph. The 2011 study found that most of the accidents involved rear-end and right-angle collisions, and crashes in which one driver attempted to overtake another.
To combat these problems, the median’s height will be raised, a left-turn lanes will be created to reduce rear-end collisions where Smithtown Boulevard intersects with Gilbert Avenue and Sheppard Lane. Curb extensions are to be built between Gilbert Avenue and Sheppard Lane. Construction is expected to be complete by winter. The County legislature voted unanimously to fund the project last month, which was left off County Executive Steve Bellone’s capital funding budget for cost concerns.
One of the catalysts for improving the safety of the road has been the family of Benjamin Archer, who suffered a severe brain injury age 15 when he was struck by a car while riding a bicycle on the road in 2007. Benjamin is now 20 and lives in a nursing home.
Most people know the basic steps they should take when they’ve been in an accident – call the police, exchange insurance information, visit a doctor. But it’s important to consult an experienced personal injury attorney who can spot additional factors that might have contributed to your injuries. For instance, the Smithtown Boulevard study found that a curvature of the road outside a 7-11 caused dangerous conditions for cars entering the convenience store. An experienced personal injury trial attorney can advise you about whether the county holds some responsibility for improperly constructed roadways.