The Merritt Parkway covers 37.6 miles of road stretching from Greenwich to Milford Connecticut until it eventually becomes the Wilbur Cross Parkway at the Housatonic River Bridge. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, this nearly 90-year-old highway was constructed in 1938, well before the spawn of modern expressways. As a result, it has a more outdated appearance in comparison to other limited-access highways in Connecticut.
The old-fashioned, two-lane design can be hazardous due to its many curves and hills. To make matters worse, the exit ramps are short, which means less distance for braking. This leads to an increased chance of being rear-ended by another motorist.
Another issue with the design of the Merritt Parkway is the lack of adequate shoulder space. When accidents do occur, it is often difficult to find a safe space to pull over, which can also lead to more congestion. The lack of streetlights results in reduced visibility for those driving in the evening. Lastly, animals pose an additional hazard, because they frequently dwell in the inland areas near the Merritt Parkway.
Although the Merritt Parkway does not have as many accidents in comparison to I-95, I-84, and I-91, it has had a high accident frequency throughout the years. To give an example, the Connecticut Transportation's Traffic Accident Survey Report stated that from 1997-1999, there were 3,783 accidents on the Merritt Parkway. This means there was an average of 100.7 accidents per mile during that period of time.
There are many potential dangers road users must be aware of when driving on the Merritt Parkway and as always, precautions can be taken in order to reduce the risk of having an accident. Road users should not speed, and they should limit all distractions when behind the wheel. Unfortunately, vehicle accidents can occur even while taking these precautions which proposes one very important question...
What should you do if you are in an accident on the Merritt Parkway?
The Connecticut accident lawyers at Hastings, Cohan and Walsh have written this 6-step guide to explain exactly what you should do if you find yourself in this troubling scenario:
1. Move to a Safe Area
If possible, it is important to move your vehicle to a safe area. It can be hard to do so if your car has suffered too much damage, and because the shoulder on the Merritt Parkway is very narrow. As such, you should remain in your car with your seatbelt on unless it is absolutely necessary to move to a safer location. You risk getting hit by an oncoming vehicle when you step out onto the Merritt.
2. Call the Authorities
It is important to get the authorities involved, which means calling the police and an ambulance. Calling the police is important for two reasons:
- so a formal accident report can be produced.
- so traffic can be controlled.
An accident report is critical, but you should always keep in mind that you should never admit guilt for causing the accident.
3. Gather Information
Be sure to collect all the information of the other driver, including their personal and insurance information. The CT Accident Assistant mobile application is a great tool for storing this information, as well as other information regarding the accident. Click here to download it for free.
4. Document the Scene
5. Seek Medical Attention
If you have suffered injuries as a result of your accident, it is imperative that you seek proper medical attention. Adrenaline can mask your injuries. People often feel fine after an accident and won't start developing symptoms until days later. It is always a good idea to take an ambulance from the scene of the accident to the hospital. This can help drive up the value of your injury case. As you go through your medical care, it is important that you document your injuries as well.
6. Get Legal Advice
The last step you should take after your Merritt Parkway crash is to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Connecticut car accident attorney. This is the best way for you to ensure that your rights are fully protected and your case is fully developed.
If you or a loved one was in a Merritt Parkway crash and you are unsure if you have a case or not, you can take this brief quiz to find out now!
Additionally, you can get all your questions answered today by scheduling a free consultation with our team of experienced Connecticut car accident attorneys. It is crucial that you speak with an attorney who specializes in Merritt Parkway crash cases, so you can have peace of mind knowing your case will be fully developed. Call us at (203) 438-7450 and let us take care of all the work so you can focus on getting better!