Posted on May 15th, 2021 by Zane Cagle
Interstate 70 Crashes
Crashes on Interstate 70 have disturbingly become almost daily news stories. Due to the higher rates of speed on interstates compared to other highways and the sometimes high volume of traffic, interstate crashes can be the most dangerous types of accidents for truck drivers, passenger car drivers, and motorcyclists.
Excessive Speed The Cause
Excessive speed was frequently cited as a contributing factor in I-70 crashes in Illinois, Missouri, and Colorado. Speed is defined as exceeding the posted speed limit or driving too fast for conditions and is a factor in nearly one-third of all fatal crashes as defined by the Research by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
While we will not get into the debate of the statistical evaluation of the impact of raising speed limits on interstates, we can look at the contributing factors of fatal accidents. When motorists operate their vehicle at a speed that is too fast for road conditions, it can result in serious injury and fatalities such as in the story above. Excessive speeding does not allow a driver enough time to react to unexpected circumstances thus making them more likely to crash. Speeding is frequently a cause of car crashes. Speed limits in Missouri are as follows:
- 70 mph on rural interstates and freeways
- 65 mph on rural expressways
- 60 mph on urban interstates, highways, expressways, and freeways
- 60 mph on other roads (except Sate 2 lane lettered roads) not located in an urban area
- 55 mph on State 2 lane lettered roads
Frequently, a car, truck, or motorcycle crash is multi-faceted in the circumstances that cause the actual crash resulting in fatal and serious injuries. One thing we do know, serious crashes occur more frequently on busy interstates. Because so many of us are directly impacted by the traffic and crashes on Interstate 70, we would be unwise not to study the causes.
Interstate and freeway travel is a part of most of our lives on a daily basis especially if you live in or around an urban area. President Eisenhower stressed the importance of an efficient highway and in the 1950s when a modern interstate highway system was thought to be more efficient as a means of transportation and evacuation in a time of war. Originally, Eisenhower never desired the interstates to pass through or reach into the major U.S. Cities, but it happened in a short time. Originally, not just any road could connect with an interstate, however, in the last 50 years, interstates have continued to grow and connect more and more cities and towns. Statistically, most crashes on interstates do occur where other roads or interstates merge and/or intersect. Any time you have traffic going in different directions, the possibility of a crash increases. Along with the interstates came congestion, smog, automobile dependency, drop-in densities in urban areas, and the decline of mass transit. I will not get on my theories of optimal infrastructure theories in this blog!
While interstates may not be used the way former President Eisenhower had hoped, in 50 plus years, interstates and freeways are a part of U.S. transportation. Ideally, vehicles traveling on interstates would travel at a consistent speed. The variations of vehicles slowing down, speeding up, passing, and merging are generally the areas where collisions occur. When deviations occur or a driver does not pay attention, the results can be tragic.
Use caution when traveling any roadway, but use extra caution when on interstates. Most St. Louisians know the more dangerous portions of Interstate 70, Interstate 55, and Interstate 44 and keep our eyes peeled in these areas, but using extra caution at all times is critical. Your commitment to be an alert driver is crucial for your and others’ safety. It is important to drive in accordance with the posted speed limit as long as it is a safe condition to do so. Obviously, inclement weather may cause drivers to slow below the speed limit, but you should not exceed the speed limit as it creates a differential between car speeds that can more likely create the circumstances for a car crash.
If you have been injured in an interstate accident, you may need expert legal representation. It takes a small injury to result in large medical bills as well as lost wages. Determining liability in a crash may become an issue.
Consulting an accident attorney right away is a cautionary step to ensure investigations are completed and statements are recorded. As well, our attorneys can assist with preserving evidence that may be critical in the months to come. We are available for free consultations seven days a week at (314) 276-1681.