Chattanooga Auto Accidents on I-24 and I-75

Chattanooga Car Accident Lawyer

Interstate 24 runs diagonally from I-57 south of Marion, Illinois, to Chattanooga, Tennessee, at I-75. Because of the diagonal southeast-northwest direction of I-24, the Interstate does not totally follow the numbering conventions of the Interstate Highway System, however, I-24 makes up the majority of the high traffic areas between St. Louis, Missouri and Atlanta, Georgia. Interstate 24, located about 40 miles west of Chattanooga in Monteagle, where the highway crosses the Cumberland Plateau is known to be a particularly dangerous section of the roadway. Although the 4-6% grade is not as steep as grades on other Interstates, it stretches out over several miles.

Many truckers have ended up in serious accidents through this area, perhaps because they are either unable to—or simply don’t—slow down to the posted 35 mph on the slope. The Monteagle grade also has one of the three widest medians of any Interstate in the U.S. (a mile at one point), and the area even had a song written about it by the legendary Johnny Cash. There is also a steep grade for westbound traffic north of Monteagle, featuring a sharp 45 mph curve to the right for descending traffic.

Interstate 75 runs from Chattanooga to Jellico, by way of Knoxville, angling northeasterly past Cleveland, Athens and Sweetwater. On the far edge of Knoxville, I-75 runs concurrent with I-40, then I-75 departs, bypassing downtown Knoxville. In December of 1990, a 99-vehicle accident which resulted in twelve fatalities and 56 injuries occurred on I-75 as dense fog blanketed the Calhoun area, and in March of 2005, I-75 southbound lanes were closed for two miles due to a rockslide below the roadway which resulted in collapsed pavement. The same thing happened in March of 2012, and in May of 2012.

From 2004 to 2008, the most dangerous Interstates in the United States were ranked, according to the number of fatalities per mile of interstate in a state. In the state of Tennessee, I-24 was ranked as the 48th most dangerous Interstate, while I-75 was ranked at # 78. With 180.16 miles of I-24 running through Tennessee, there were 154 fatalities on that stretch of Interstate, or 0.72 fatalities per mile. Interstate 75 has 1161.86 miles in the state of Tennessee, and had 102 fatalities, or 0.54 per mile during the 2004-2008 period.

Fatigued Driving as a Cause of Interstate Accidents Across the Nation

I-24 and I-75 are heavily-traveled, therefore accidents are not all that uncommon. Fatigued driving is a problem in the state of Tennessee, and across the nation, and drowsy driving can have tragic results. Obviously, falling asleep at the wheel is dangerous, but simply being tired, fatigued and/or sleepy, affects your ability to drive safely. If you are drowsy, you are less able to pay attention to the road and the other drivers on the road, have significantly slower reactions times, and your ability to make good decisions decreases. Some statistics related to fatigued driving include:

  • One in twenty-five drivers over the age of 18 report they have fallen asleep while driving at least one time over the past thirty days;
  • In 2013, the NHTSA stated fatigued drivers were responsible for 72,000 crashes and 800 deaths, however, some believe these numbers are vastly underestimated, and that drowsy driving is responsible for as many as 6,000 fatal crashes every year;
  • Truck drivers, shift workers, drivers with untreated sleep disorders, and drivers who take certain medications which cause sleepiness are those most likely to drive while fatigued;
  • Because there is no test to determine fatigue (like a Breathalyzer determines level of intoxication) it is hard to determine the actual number of fatigued drivers;
  • According to an NSF poll, adults between the ages of 18 and 29 are the most likely to drive while drowsy;
  • Men are more likely than women to drive while fatigued, and twice as likely to fall asleep as women;
  • A study by Australian researchers showed those who were awake for 18 hours had the same level of impairment as a person with a BAC of 0.05 percent, and
  • Only about one in five drivers say they would pull over and rest for a bit once they realized they were sleepy.

Automobile Accidents in Tennessee

While there are many causes of accidents on Tennessee Interstates, some of the more common reasons related to drivers, in Chattanooga and Hamilton County include the following:

  • Driver distractions were responsible for 133 accidents in 2016;
  • Careless driving was responsible for 219 auto accidents in 2016;
  • Driving on the wrong side of the road was responsible for 57 auto accidents in 2016;
  • Exceeding the posted speed limit was responsible for 97auto accidents in 2016;
  • Failure to keep in the proper lane or running off the road was responsible for 1,200 auto accidents in 2016;
  • Tailgating was responsible for 2,600 auto accidents in 2016;
  • Failure to yield the right-of-way was responsible for 1,886 auto accidents in 2016;
  • Not paying attention to the road was responsible for 251 auto accidents in 2016;
  • Reckless or negligent driving was responsible for 188 auto accidents in 2016, and
  • Texting contributed to 26 auto accidents in 2016.

It is important to note, however, that people are rarely forthcoming about what caused their accident, therefore the numbers above could conceivably be higher.

Getting Help Following Your Tennessee Auto Accident

As a Chattanooga resident, you have likely been on Interstates 24 and 75 at one time or another, therefore you know just how busy these roadways are. Having an accident on an Interstate—or anywhere else—can be a traumatic experience. You must deal with your injuries, perhaps even being unable to return to work for a significant length of time, as well as your medical expenses. If you cannot work, you are also left wondering how you will pay for your regular monthly bills.

Automobile claims can be complex, particularly Interstate accidents, which may involve more than one automobile or a large commercial truck. The attorneys at Martinson & Beason strive to provide excellent legal representation for every one of their clients, understanding the stress you are under following your car accident. If you are facing an unsure future after your automobile accident, call Martinson & Beason today.

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