Interstate 65 enters downtown Nashville just after coming to an interchange with I-440. After sharing a brief concurrence with I-40 and I-24, Interstate 65 separates from I-24, intersecting with Briley Parkway on the north side of Nashville, widening to ten lanes. I-65 briefly accommodates 15 lanes (eight northbound and seven southbound), before it passes through Madison, comes to an interchange with Vietnam Veterans Blvd, then narrows back to six lanes.
A small portion of Interstate 65 was the first Interstate highway opened to Tennessee traffic, with a nearly two-mile portion opening up in November, 1958. Until 2000, this two-mile northern leg of the Nashville loop was designated as I-265, then that designation vanished, replaced by I-65 which was re-routed from the southern and eastern half of the loop to the northern and western half of the loop. City and county governments in the area have lobbied to have these designations changed to help alleviate the traffic congestion caused by those following I-65 through the city.
Interstate 24 is, ostensibly, an east-west route, although it actually follows a southeast-northwest route. I-24 is considered particularly hazardous west of Chattanooga in Monteagle. The highway crosses the Cumberland Plateau, and has a 4-6% grade. Although I-40, between Nashville and Knoxville has a 5% grade in each direction, the Monteagle grade stretches for miles. Many truckers have lost their lives in this particular area of Tennessee I-24. To combat the failure or inability of trucks to slow down to the 35-mph speed limit, the road was widened, and two runaway truck ramps were installed on the left side of the grade.
East of the Tennessee river, the Western Highland Rim flanks Interstate 40 for a good stretch, prior to descending into the Nashville basin. In downtown Nashville, Interstate 40 converges with Interstate 65 and Interstate 24, making the city of Nashville one of only four cities in the nation where six Interstate legs converge within the boundaries of the city. Interstate 40 leaves Nashville, crossing the Stones River, continuing about 50 miles across open farmland.
Interstates 65, 40 and 24 in Tennessee, unfortunately all made the list of the top 100 most dangerous Interstates for the years between 2004 and 2008. I-65 through the state of Tennessee, came in at number 95 in the top 100 most dangerous Interstates. I-65 has 121.71 miles across the state, and had 64 fatalities between these years, with a fatality rate of 0.48 per mile. Interstate 40 came in at number 62 in the top 100 most dangerous Interstates. With 455.28 miles of Interstate 40 across the state, there were 321 fatalities on Tennessee I-40, or a fatality rate of 0.62 per mile. Interstate 24 was ranked number 48 in the top 100 most dangerous interstates. With 180.16 miles of I-24 across the state of Tennessee, there were 154 fatalities, or 0.72 fatal accidents per mile.
Interstates 40, 65 and 24 are heavily-traveled Interstates. With the volume of traffic seen on most interstates, auto accidents are bound to happen. Fatigued driving, careless or reckless driving, and distracted driving are among the most common causes of auto accidents. Distracted driving is more and more common as we continue our multi-tasking ways, even behind the wheel. Despite knowing just how dangerous distracted driving is, we continue to text, talk on the phone, fiddle with the radio or GPS, watch what’s happening on the side of the road, chat with our passengers, turn around to see what the kids are doing in the back seat, sing, put on makeup and even read while we are driving.
There are three types of distraction; cognitive, visual and manual. When your mind is on what you will cook for dinner, the conversation you are having with your passenger, the fight you had with your spouse this morning, or a problem at work, you are experiencing cognitive distraction. Even listening to an audiobook or podcast on your car radio can be a risk. The audio can take your focus off your driving and your surroundings.
Visual distractions occur when you are looking at anything other than the road and the drivers around you. If you are constantly looking in your rearview mirror to referee the disagreements between your children, you are visually distracted. If you are looking at your GPS, attempting to figure out where you need to turn, you are visually distracted. Obviously, if you are looking at a text, you are visually distracted.
When you take one or both hands off the wheel, you are engaging in manual distraction. The prime example of manual distraction is eating and drinking, or attempting to dig something out of a purse or diaper bag while driving. Texting actually involves cognitive, visual and manual distraction, which is why it is so dangerous.
Drivers need to learn to turn off their cell phone while in their vehicle, make sure the kids and the pets are securely strapped in and that the children understand they are not allowed to bother the driver, and to eat before or after driving—not during. GPS devices should be programmed before you leave the driveway, not while you are flying down the freeway. In other words—don’t multitask while you drive.
As a Nashville resident, you have likely been on Interstates 24, 65 and 40 at one time or another, therefore you are fully aware of the level of traffic on these Interstates. Having an accident on a busy Interstate can be traumatic. You not only are left dealing with injuries, you may not be able to return to work, therefore have your regular bills as well as your hospital and medical bills to deal with. It is important that you have a Martinson & Beason, P.C. attorney in your corner who can preserve your rights to compensation following your auto accident.
Automobile claims can often be complex, particularly Interstate accidents, which may involve more than one automobile or a large commercial truck. The attorneys at Martinson & Beason, P.C. believe each of their clients deserves the highest level of representation available. We understand how stressful it can be to watch your medical expenses pile up, while you are unable to work and pay your regular day-to-day expenses. If your future seems very unsure after your automobile accident, call Martinson & Beason today.