It’s easy to think of Hawaii as an idyllic setting, but traffic and its accompanying problems are the same here as other states. Maui has to contend with traffic, both from residents and tourists, and serious and sometimes fatal accidents caused by negligent and careless drivers. In 2019, Maui County experienced 12 motor vehicle accident fatalities, seven pedestrian fatalities, two moped/scooter deaths, and one bicyclist’s death. The year before, Maui County saw 17 traffic fatalities in all.
Fatal and serious accidents occur throughout Maui County, though some roads and intersections are more dangerous than others. If you were injured or lost a loved one in a car crash, talk with Menzer Law about the best next steps to pursue a personal injury or wrongful death claim.
One of the most dangerous roads in Maui is also considered one of the most dangerous roads in the country. This is Kahekili Highway, also known as State Highway 340. Drivers navigate rocks to one side and steep cliffs on the other for about 20 miles between Kapalua and Wailuku. Though it’s paved reasonably well and allows for two-way traffic, most of the highway is one lane with pulls offs in some areas to let vehicles pass one another. Kahekili Highway is known as a scenic route, not a fast one.
Most of the trip is spent at low speeds and navigating winding turns without guardrails. It’s not uncommon for the road to close when an accident or debris blocks the highway. Over the years, several motorists have been killed when an accident causes their vehicle to fall off the side of the highway.
The Road to Hana is a popular destination and vacation activity, but also known for a significant number of accidents. Hana Highway is 64 miles long and is part of Routes 36 and 360. It connects Kahului to Hana. Hana Highway is generally wider than Kahekili Highway, though there are a number of one-way bridges.
The hairpin turns and curves, however, can be difficult to navigate especially when there are a lot of tourist drivers on the road. The road also often places drivers between a wall of rocks and vegetation on one side and steep cliffs on the other without complete guardrails. Both Kahekili Highway and Hana Highway offer amazing views of Hawaii, but both also put drivers’ skills to the test. Only calm, experienced drivers should take on these roads—and do so during the day.
Dangers for Pedestrians
Roads and intersections are not just dangerous for other drivers. Pedestrians have to worry about walking beside and crossing roads in Maui. Unfortunately, Hawaii isn’t known for being pedestrian-friendly. Smart Growth America, on behalf of AARP, studied pedestrian safety in the U.S. Its report, Dangerous by Design 2019, found Hawaii ranked 30th in the U.S. based on the number of pedestrian fatalities.
On the State Pedestrian Danger Index, for pedestrian deaths between 2008 and 2017, Hawaii had an average rate of 1.6 pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 people. Worse yet, Hawaii was ranked third for deaths of pedestrians over 50 years old, MauiNow reported.
Menzer Law Handles Car, Pedestrian, Bike and Motorcycle Accidents Throughout Hawaii
Maui tends to experience vehicle accidents in its most populated areas, including Kahului, Kihei, Wailuku, and Lahaina. But accidents also happen in less populated areas and on the famous, but dangerous Kahekili and Hana highways. Menzer Law is located in Wailuku, HI, but is here to help whether you were in an accident on Maui or any neighbor island.
Matt Menzer has over 30 years of legal experience working on these kinds of cases. Matt and his team are here to help you pursue full and fair compensation for your car, bicycle, pedestrian and motorcycle accident injuries. To learn more about how he can help, call 808-400-3726, or use our online form to request your free consultation. There are no upfront or hourly fees. We accept accident cases on a contingency fee basis. You only pay us if we win compensation for you.