Each year there are thousands of motor vehicle accidents on Long Island’s Southern State Parkway. A recent study conducted by the New York State Department Of Transportation revealed that it is among the most dangerous roads in all of New York State. But it doesn’t take a DOT study for Long Islanders to know just how dangerous it is to travel on the Southern State Parkway.
Just this weekend two teenagers, Joseph Kelly and Justin Johnson lost their lives in a car accident on the Southern State Parkway. Kelly, who was operating the vehicle, lost control when he was unable to negotiate a bend in the road. Speed may have been a factor in the accident.
This follows a tragic accident that occurred just this August that left a grandmother, mother, and three young children dead. Myriam Lebrun was driving her car on the Parkway in North Babylon when she lost control of her vehicle. Her and the four passengers all perished in the accident. The stretch of road where the accident occurred is locally known as the “Southern Snake Parkway.”
The many twists and turns on the Southern State Parkway can pose a major threat to driver’s safety. They can be especially hazardous when traveling at or above the speed limit.
Another threat to the safe passage of vehicles on the Parkway is short entrance ramps. The short entrance ramps provide little time and distance for drivers to safely gain speed and merge onto the highway when cars are traveling in excess of fifty-five mph on the Parkway.
Another major issue with the Southern State Parkway is traffic congestion. Over 190,000 vehicles travel on the Parkway each day. The road was not designed for such high volume and is often overcrowded.
Flooding has also contributed to the dangers of the Southern State Parkway. Not only are pools of water hazardous for drivers causing the risk of hydroplaning, but it has also led to potholes and broken pavement. This adds to the risks of driving on the parkway, especially at night when driver visibility is reduced.
So what can you do to protect yourself on this dangerous road? First, if at all possible use different roadways to reach your destination. However, as the Southern State Parkway is a main artery for Long Island, this is not always possible.
So, if you should find yourself using the Parkway make sure to always be alert. Distracted driving is never a good idea, but is extremely dangerous on the Southern State Parkway.
Also, drive within the speed limit. Be aware that there are many twists and turns on the Southern State Parkway that you will be required to negotiate safely. This can be more easily done at a safe speed.
Also, always be aware of other drivers entering the Parkway at a speed far slower then 55 mph due to the short entrance ramps. It’s best to not travel in the right lane. But when necessary to do so, be cognizant of vehicles merging onto the roadway at slow speeds.
Finally, keep an eye out for potholes. These hazards can cause a tire blow out that can lead to an accident. Keeping these tips in mind should greatly reduce your risk of an accident on the Southern State Parkway and help ensure that you arrive safely at your destination.