Crashes Continue as I-69 Construction Project Heads Toward the Finish Line
As construction on I-69 continues in Indianapolis and other parts of Indiana, there’s a growing concern about the rise of devastating traffic accidents along the interstate.
Many Indiana motorists and passengers have suffered severe injuries because of the dangerous construction sites and narrowed lanes of traffic on I-69, and, tragically, some have even lost their lives.
If you’re driving along I-69 or another dangerous Indiana interstate, you need to operate your vehicle with the utmost safety. Additionally, in the event that you suffer from a car accident caused by another driver, you need to hold them financially accountable for your vehicle damages and personal injuries.
I-69 Construction Project
The I-69 construction project extends from Martinsville to Indianapolis and transforms State Road 37 into I-69. According to the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT), the finished interstate should be available to the public in 2024. Fortunately, INDOT also indicated that construction on the mainline of I-69 should conclude by the end of 2022.
Currently, the overall level of completion on the interstate varies depending on the county, as INDOT completes construction in various phases. This project has caused many lane closures, causing delays while also increasing the risk of accidents. Both INDOT and Indiana State Police have stated that it’s common for wrecks to increase during construction periods.
Unsurprisingly, many accidents have occurred as a direct result of this project. Construction on I-69 began in 2014, and only two years later, car accidents were up 48% in the interstate section between Bloomington and Martinsville. Since then, serious wrecks have continued to rack up.
Deadly Accidents on I-69
There have been numerous serious accidents on I-69, and, sadly, many of these accidents have caused road fatalities.
Back in 2016, a 29-year-old man suffered permanently damaging injuries as a result of the I-69 construction. Before the construction project began, a grass median separated the north and southbound lanes of the interstate. Due to construction and lane closures, these two lanes were in close proximity and only separated by traffic posts. This unfortunate difference greatly contributed to the man’s wreck. He briefly fell asleep and drifted across the traffic posts, colliding head-on with a semi-truck.
The driver wasn’t killed in the incident, but he spent a week in the intensive care unit and suffered from a torn small intestine and a four-inch laceration that reached the bone of his leg. If the area hadn’t been under construction, the man would have likely not entered the opposite lane of traffic. It was fortunate that he survived the serious crash, but not every victim of I-69 crashes is as lucky.
On April 28, 2022, a man was killed at mile marker 207 on Interstate 69 traveling northbound. He drove off the road on the right side and struck a guardrail. Tragically, he wasn’t wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident and was ejected from the vehicle on impact. He died at the scene.
Another incident occurred last January after a Dodge RAM driver was rear-ended by a tractor-trailer. The pair were traveling northbound on I-69 toward Banta Road. The driver of the tractor-trailer failed to spot the RAM at the intersection. He struck the truck from behind, causing the driver’s death.
Dangers of Indiana Interstate Highways
In addition to I-69, Indiana features three other major interstate highways: I-65, I-70, and I-74. Numerous wrecks occur on these interstates every year, and according to the Indiana State Police, around 800 Indianians die in vehicular accidents yearly.
Some of the leading causes of interstate highway accidents and fatalities include:
- Distracted driving: Driving while distracted is always dangerous, but it’s especially deadly on interstates because vehicles travel at such high speeds. Even being distracted for a split second can cause a life-changing wreck.
- Failing to buckle up: Although this isn’t a direct cause of traffic accidents, it’s often a contributing factor to road fatalities. Not wearing a seatbelt is highly dangerous and greatly increases your risk of serious injury or death in a collision.
- Driving while fatigued and “highway hypnosis”: Operating a vehicle while tired is incredibly unsafe, and it’s often even more dangerous on interstates. Driving while fatigued impairs your judgment and reaction time. Because drivers frequently spend hours on interstates without needing to stop or turn, it’s easier for them to lose focus and stop paying attention to the road. This loss of focus can also contribute to a driver falling asleep at the wheel.
- Reckless driving: Operating your vehicle without regarding the safety of others on the road can cause fatal accidents both on and off the interstate. Drivers should avoid dangerous maneuvers such as sudden lane changes, speeding, and tailgating.
Injured on I-69? Contact an Indianapolis Personal Injury Attorney
If you suffer from a wreck caused by a negligent driver, you need expert personal injury lawyers at your side to help you recover compensation. These wrecks often result in serious car damage and expensive medical bills. Additionally, you could face permanent impairments that keep you from making as much money as your pre-injury earnings.
For seasoned Indianapolis interstate traffic accident lawyers, contact Poynter & Bucheri Accident Recovery Attorneys at Law. Our personal injury attorneys can help you recover the money you deserve after your wreck. Depending on your case, you may be able to recover damages for medical bills, vehicle repairs, lost wages, loss of future earnings, pain and suffering, and more.
Call us today at 1-800-265-9881, or you can schedule a FREE case review online here.