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