Kentucky Interstate Accident Injuries

Kentucky automobile accident attorney

We are fortunate in Kentucky to have so many interstate highways available to us, for commuting to work, for traveling to vacation destinations, for transporting goods and services.  More than 700 miles of interstate are within the borders of Kentucky:

  • I-75 covers 191.78 miles and passes near Lexington
  • I-64 covers 185.20 miles, passing near Louisville, Frankfort, Lexington and Ashland
  • I-65 covers 137.32 miles, passing near Bowling Green, Elizabethtown and Louisville
  • I-71 covers 97.42 miles, passing near Louisville
  • I-24 covers 93.37 miles, passing near Paducah.

Unfortunately, along with the advantages of interstate travel comes the disadvantage of traffic accidents, some of them quite serious and involving multiple vehicles.  In addition to passenger vehicles and motorcycles, tractor-trailers zoom these straight stretches, thundering toward their destinations, under a deadline.

Federal Highway Administration statistics show that 62 people were killed in accidents on Kentucky interstates in 2011.  Doubtless, many, many more were injured.

What are the primary causes of Kentucky interstate accidents?

Weather – Drivers on interstate highways are affected by weather events just like those who travel on city or rural roads.  Heavy rain, fog, ice and snow – all of these weather conditions can be hazardous, particularly to vehicles traveling at 65 mph or more.

Snow created havoc along I-75 in Madison County on January 13, 2012, causing four accidents within miles of each other. Two semis jackknifed just a few miles apart, an ambulance flipped and a police cruiser crashed responding to the scene. In May of 2012, a 10-mile stretch of I-65 near Cave City was closed for 10 hours, after a tractor-trailer crossed the median in heavy rain, hit another tractor-trailer and they were struck by a pick-up truck and an SUV.

On October 31, 2012, a six-vehicle chain-reaction crash happened on southbound I-75 in Fayette County.  Driver #1 hydroplaned, clipped another vehicle and started a chain reaction that ultimately involved two mini-vans, two cars and two semis.

Wrong-way Accidents – It sounds so implausible.  How could a driver be so confused, or so drunk, that he or she drives up an exit ramp and heads into oncoming traffic?   Yet wrong-way accidents are not terribly uncommon.

Two people were injured on June 5, 2012, when a 73-year-old man driving the wrong way on I-64 hit another vehicle nearly head on. Both vehicles were traveling at about 60 mph, and both drivers were injured.  There were no signs of alcohol or drug involvement and no known medical issues.

On June 22, 2012, a driver got on I-75 in Corbin going north in the southbound lanes.  He drove nearly five miles before officers could stop him. Police said the man “had Alzheimer’s or possibly Parkinson’s.”

Several motorists called 911 on March 7, 2013, to report a vehicle heading westbound in the eastbound lanes of I-64 near Midway. A state trooper stopped the vehicle by pulling in front of it and forcing a collision.  The intoxicated driver had traveled nearly 8 miles in the wrong direction.

Trucks – All sizes of trucks carry goods up and down the interstate highways — 18-wheelers, transfer trucks, semis, big rigs, tankers, dump trucks – and most of them are trying to meet a schedule.  Trucks are vital contributors to our country’s economy. The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that more than a half-million truck accidents occur each year.  And when they do happen, because of the size and weight of trucks, they’re likely to be catastrophic. Whether they’re barreling down the highway or parked on the shoulder for a rest, trucks can be involved in horrific accidents.

Why Kentucky highway deaths are on the rise.

One of the Kentucky’s deadliest two-vehicle crashes occurred in March of 2010, when a tractor-trailer jumped the grass median on I-65 near Munfordville, killing the truck’s driver and 10 people in a van. The truck had been carrying a heavy load — brake drums for tractor-trailers.

In March of 2013, five people were hospitalized and six were killed in two crashes that happened within minutes at the same spot on Interstate 65.  Six people from rural Wisconsin were killed when a tractor-trailer rear-ended their Ford Expedition near Glendale.  The trucking company had previously been cited for its drivers’ following too closely to another vehicle.  The second accident was likely caused by “rubber-necking” at the first one.

A man from Cynthiana was killed on June 12, 2013, when he slammed his pickup truck into the back of a semi that was pulled over to the shoulder on I-75 just past the Athens-Boonesboro Road exit.

Speed – The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that nearly 10,000 deaths — about a third of all crash fatalities — occurred in speed-related crashes in 2011.  One of the reasons people like to drive on interstates is that they can drive faster, getting to their destination quicker.  Speed is an element in highway safety because it takes a vehicle longer to stop or slow down when going at a high speed. When interstate collisions do occur, they are more deadly because crash energy increases exponentially as speeds go up.  People often drive faster than the posted speed limit. Research shows that when speed limits are raised, speeds go up, as do fatal crashes.  And no one is exempt from this kind of poor judgment:

In May of 2013, a Kentucky legislator was cited for traveling at 109 mph on Interstate 75 in Lexington, where the speed limit was 70.  Fortunately, the incident did not involve a collision.

Fatigue – Anyone who has driven any distance on the interstate knows how monotonous the drive can become.  Drivers who grind on for mile after mile, hour after hour, are at risk of becoming drowsy.  In driving performance testing, 17 hours of sustained wakefulness was equivalent to driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.05%.  Truckers are governed by the United States DOT’s Hours-of-Service regulations, but someone from Michigan who is bound for the sunny beaches of Miami can barrel straight through Kentucky on I-75 without taking a break.

The Lexington interstate accident lawyer, Julie Butcher is here to help you if you’ve been in an accident on one of the interstate highways in or near Lexington, Kentucky.  Whether it was a truck accident, a motorcycle accident, a multi-car pile-up or a single vehicle crash, our experience will enable you to get fair compensation for your injuries and property damage.  Our emphasis is on being of service to our clients, not on gaining glory for ourselves.  That is why our motto is “compassion, integrity and results.”

If you need assistance after an interstate accident, contact the Julie Butcher Law Office online or at 1-866-77-JULIE.