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Why is This Seattle Highway Exit an Accident Magnet?

The I-5 off-ramp at the Seattle Convention Center is a frequent site of car accidents. So much that many residents have begun asking why this is so. Although the DOT has made various modifications, this off-ramp continues to be a wrecking ball.

At least one risky road or crossroads may be found in every city. In certain cases, it might be that there aren’t enough turn lanes, or that there is a piece of road with a different speed restriction than the rest of the road. The I-5 off-ramp at the Seattle Convention Center is an excellent example of this.

Actually, this route has been the topic of a recent viral video compilation that has swept the internet. As the videos show, this exit ramp has seen a number of collisions over the years, prompting many to wonder whether or not it is safe for other motorists and pedestrians to continue using it.

Apparently, this specific off-ramp has been problematic for some time. A Seattle YouTuber, Michael Basconcillo, has been documenting the spot since 2017 when he filmed a Lamborghini catching fire as it veered off the freeway. Basconcillo says he saw many vehicles speeding through the intersection while driving, which prompted him to record them and share the information online.

Many residents and visitors are wondering why this particular exit is such a hotbed of car accidents yet there is concrete and reflective signage all around this short one-lane exit in Google Street View. One of the reasons is that most motorists don’t seem to be capable of reducing their speed from the highway’s limit of 60 mph to the suggested departure speed of 20 mph.

There are roughly 464 feet from the exit gore to the middle of the steep bend where accidents are happening, according to a Washington Department of Transportation spokeswoman. Because the speed limit on I-5 is 60 miles per hour, the driver of a 60-mph vehicle would have around 5.25 seconds to slow down before exiting the freeway.

As a reminder to slow down, there are multiple warning signs and reflective markings on concrete barriers: a 30mph sign at the solid white line before the exit, 20mph signs before the exit gore, and a 20mph warning below the exit gore, and stoplight warning signs.

The reflective poles and markers visible in the video shot at the site, as well as the extra speed warning under the exit sign, had all been erected by the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) as of 2019. Since the new signs were put up, Basconcillo’s cameras have filmed at least three more collisions.

Even towing firms were taken aback by the high number of automobile accidents on that specific off-ramp, considering how abrupt the bend is. Regardless, the clearly designated portion of the road has seen its fair number of fatalities through the years, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon.

No particular future upgrades were mentioned by WSDOT, although that does not exclude interim measures. According to Basconcillo, rumble strips might help prevent inattentive drivers from making errors.

People in the area need to keep an eye out for how many accidents occur and how many automobiles end up leaping over the curb. This steep off-ramp might one day be the cause of the death of an innocent pedestrian if a reckless driver fails to slow down.

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