In 1997, Interstate 65 was originally designated as Hank Williams’ Memorial “Lost Highway” after one of his songs. This designation went north to mile 179 of Montgomery. I-65 widens to six lanes between exits 242 to 290. After President Ronald Reagan died in 2004, a lengthy portion of I-65, from Jefferson to Limestone County was designated as Ronald Reagan Memorial Highway.
Linking six of Alabama’s ten largest cities, I-65 wanders through 367 miles of Alabama countryside. Interstate 65 begins near Mobile at I-10, then passes through Montgomery, Birmingham and Decatur before entering Tennessee. A portion of Interstate 65 is known as Heroes Highway in honor of those who died on 9/11. At the north edge of downtown Birmingham, I-65 intersects I-20/I-59 via a crossover exchange known as “Malfunction Junction” because of the many auto accidents in the area. In fact, on two separate occasions, the support beams of the crossover exchange actually melted, after an 18-wheeler crashed and burst into flames.
As I-65 goes north of Birmingham, it meanders in the general direction of Huntsville, connecting the metropolitan areas of Decatur and Huntsville as it crosses Wheeler Lake. On the edge of Decatur, I-65 intersects with spur route I-565 to Huntsville. A proposal is in the works to widen I-65 from North Birmingham to Alabaster.
Because of its length, those who travel through the state of Alabama may eventually find themselves on I-65, and may find themselves sharing the roadways with many large, commercial trucks. Alabama’s growing economy has increased the numbers of large trucks on the Interstates; some of the state’s industries (which require truck transport) include iron and steel products, electronics, plastic, paper, lumber, cotton, poultry, eggs, cattle and peanuts.
Since 30 percent of traffic fatalities involve a large commercial truck driving on an interstate, and 28.4 percent of the total number of traffic accidents involving a large commercial truck on an interstate, you can see this is a distinct hazard for other drivers. The majority of these commercial truck-involved accidents involve lane-changes. Whether the driver of the truck could not see the passenger vehicle because of blind spots, or because the truck driver was overly-fatigued or distracted, the results can be tragic.
There were more than 13,000 car collisions on Interstates across the state of Alabama in 2014. More of these collisions occurred in urban areas (7,927) than in rural areas (5,252). As a whole, about ten percent of the car collisions which occurred in Alabama happened on Interstates, although a higher percentage of auto accident fatalities (12.5 percent) occurred on Interstates.
Interstate 65 primarily travels through Montgomery, Jefferson and Mobile Counties in the state of Alabama. The city of Montgomery, in Montgomery County, Alabama reported 8,411 auto accidents in 2012 and 8,628 in 2013. Of those motor vehicle accidents, 31 resulted in a fatality in 2012 and 32 in 2013. There were 2,645 injuries resulting from these crashes in 2012, and 2,811 in 2013. The city of Birmingham, in Jefferson County reported 10,532 auto accidents in 2012 with 46 fatalities and 2,484 injuries; in 2013 there were 8,189 auto accidents with 30 fatalities and 1,743 injuries. The city of Mobile, in Mobile County, reported 9,739 auto accidents in 2012 and 9,943 in 2013. There were 29 fatalities from those accidents in 2012, and 28 in 2013, with 2,130 injuries resulting from these auto accidents in 2012, and 2,261 in 2013. Alabama has the seventh highest fatality rate for auto accidents as compared to other states across the nation.
While the above facts can be alarming, there are many ways you can avoid becoming a statistic, including the following:
Interstate auto accidents often involve more than one vehicle, making them particularly complex. In order to receive the compensation you need for your injuries stemming from the accident, it is important to have an experienced, knowledgeable personal injury attorney by your side. The attorneys at Martinson & Beason will work hard on your behalf to ensure you receive an equitable settlement. Our Alabama car wreck attorneys are well-versed in medical issues, therefore will be able to comprehensively understand your injuries and treatments. If you suffered injuries in an Alabama auto accident and feel your future is unsure, call Martinson & Beason today.