The city of Huntsville underwent a massive population explosion in the 50’s and 60’s, and by the time Huntsville had grown to be more than twice the size of Decatur in 1960, it was determined an Interstate spur would help by connecting Huntsville with I-65. I-565 first began in 1969, with nearly 20 miles being approved, and construction taking more than 20 years, or about one mile per year. I-565 finally opened in 1991, then it was extended slightly east, opening a new interchange between U.S. 72 and I-565 at Chapman Mountain. Interstate 565 is a part of Corridor 7’s High Priority roadways, and there are plans to extend I-565 both east and west, perhaps past I-65 for a couple of miles toward Decatur, terminating at the bridges over the Tennessee River (U.S. 31).
I-565 serves Decatur, Madison and downtown Huntsville, providing a route to the Huntsville International Airport. Interestingly, when I-565 first opened, it was designated as a north-south highway which was confusing because the Interstate actually travels more or less east-west. Soon after opening I-565, it was re-signed. I-565 has a speed limit of 70 mph, well into the city, decreasing to 65 mph west of the Memorial Parkway interchange. This is unlike many urban Interstates which have a speed limit of 55 mph.
Those Traveling Through Huntsville are Likely to Find Themselves on I-565
Most of those who travel across the state of Alabama will likely take an Interstate for at least a portion of the trip. Those who drive to or through Huntsville, are likely to find themselves on Interstate 565, at some point. While Interstates are helpful in moving traffic quickly, during high-traffic periods—and during holidays—Interstates can be extremely congested. Interstates can also have other hazards, including frequent road maintenance and traffic merging at various speeds. An accident on an Interstate is more likely to involve multiple vehicles than an accident on other types of roadways.
Truck and Passenger Vehicle Accidents on Alabama Interstates
In 2014, across the state of Alabama, there were 13,179 car collisions on Interstates, with more of those being in urban areas (7,927 vs. 5,252) than in rural areas. Overall, about 10 percent of the state’s car crashes occurred on Interstates, although 12.5 percent of the total number of car accident fatalities in Alabama occurred on Interstates across the state. A much higher number of commercial truck accidents occurred on Alabama Interstates in 2014—27 percent. Of course, more trucks travel Interstates, so this statistic is not all that surprising.
Where Does Madison County Rank for Auto Accidents?
Statistics from the Alabama Rural Health Association shows that Madison County had a rate of 12. 9 auto accidents per 100,000 residents, while the entire state of Alabama had a rate of 19 auto accidents per 100,000 residents. Both Madison County and the state of Alabama have higher rates of auto accidents than the overall rate of 11.5 per 100,000 residents across the United States.
According to a 2015 news article, Alabama residents are twice as likely to die in a car accident than the average American driver. Overall, Alabama has the seventh-highest fatality rate for automobile accidents than those from other states, however this is not so much due to terrible roads or bad drivers in the state, rather to the fact that a large number of those living in Alabama live in rural areas where hospitals are sparse.
If you are a resident of Huntsville, you have likely traveled Interstate 565 as well as other Interstates in the area and in the state. If you should be involved in an accident on I-565, it is important to take the following actions:
- Don’t leave the scene of the accident;
- Get immediate medical attention for yourself and all those involved in the accident;
- Call the police;
- Exchange name, address, phone number and insurance information with other drivers;
- If there were witnesses to the accident, get their contact information if you are physically able;
- Call your insurance company as soon as possible;
- If you are able, take photographs of the damage to the vehicles, injuries, and the scene of the accident;
- Don’t admit fault to anyone until you have spoken to an attorney;
- Make sure you write down every detail you can remember about the accident as soon as possible;
- Keep meticulous records of any medical treatments you are receiving as a result of the accident, and
- Contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can guide you through the process and ensure you receive an equitable settlement.
Automobile accident claims can be complex, particularly when more than two vehicles are involved as is often the case in interstate accidents. The Huntsville car accident attorneys at Martinson & Beason have a thorough understanding of auto accidents, as well as the laws which govern those accidents. If you are watching your medical expenses pile up alarmingly, are unable to return to work because of your injuries, and are looking at a very unsure future, call Martinson & Beason today.