Cagle Law Firm
Attorney Zane Cagle

Posted on June 19th, 2019,
by Zane Cagle

Road Construction Coming to Highway 13, North of Springfield, Missouri

Posted on June 19th, 2019 by Zane Cagle

Car Crashes on Highway 13, North of Springfield

If you have driven on Highway 13 between Springfield, MO and Clinton, MO, then  you know that there are many car crashes resulting in fatalities and serious injuries.  In my commutes across the state, I’ve personally experienced cars and truck unsafely entering Highway 13 both southbound and northbound.  MoDOT, Missouri Department of Transportation, is adding seven J-turns between Clinton and Springfield, Missouri. Construction is beginning this summer and hopefully, these changes will raise awareness of safety at intersections and improve safety.

The J-turn is an alternative to traditional roadway intersections on a four-lane highway. Right now, multiple highways intersect with Highway 13 and there are traditional crossings including fast-moving lanes of traffic to get to the opposing lanes.  Drivers in a J-run intersection turn right in the same direction of traffic, merge into the left lane, and then make a U-turn in the direction they intend to travel.  While drivers may have to travel a little bit further using the J-turn, the hope is to increase safety at these intersections.

Feelings are Mixed–Safety is Critical

While some drivers are very aware of the congestion and see the near-crashes, others are concerned about the difficulty that larger vehicles will have in the new turns.  Thus, MoDOT must consider some driver’s inconvenience and the fact that there are simply too many fatal crashes at those interchanges on Highway 13 between Springfield and Clinton, Missouri.  These new interchanges may require some adjusting for larger trucks with cattle trailers; but overall, there need to be some changes for safety. We applaud the attempts to make Missouri Highway 13 safer!

Fatal and serious motor vehicle crashes on Highway 13 have been prevalent since I was a kid in the Bolivar area which has been awhile.  While I don’t recall the days when Highway 13 was a two-lane road from Springfield to Clinton, I do know that there have been to many deadly crashes on that stretch of road for MoDOT to simply do nothing.  While it’s been over 20 years since I lived in that area, I personally know too many people that have been killed or injured on that stretch of road. Thus, I can only assume that it has more directly impacted those people still living in the communities along MO 13 including  Brighton, Bolivar, Humansville, Collins, Osceola and Clinton.  Since Highway 13 became a major north and south thoroughfare, the number of over-the-road trucks have increased. Likewise, traffic overall has increased as Highway 13 gives access to Truman Lake from the south and Springfield to the north.  It is about 70 miles west to find the next major thoroughfare and about 30 miles to catch Highway 65 to the east.

This area covers four counties including Greene, Polk, St. Clair and Henry counties.

Improving Safety on Highway 13

Maybe safety on Highway 13 between Springfield and Clinton hit homes for me personally as I end up traveling it quite a bit.  We usually are very interested in the roads that we personally travel over roads that others must travel. However, increasing safety on Highway 13 is crucial for all people living in that area and the state at large.  I don’t usually have to consider traversing traffic with stock trailer and I can appreciate their problem, but literally 1,000’s of passenger vehicles travel that roadway.  While it may require more effort for bigger vehicles, shouldn’t we be slowing larger vehicles down at interchanges for the safety of all vehicle occupants?  According to MoDOT, they must work within space and budget restraints (as do most of us).  Road construction is always inconvenient but the long-term impact may directly impact you if you travel that roadway much.   Adding more organized interchanges may require drivers to drive a little farther to make a J-turn and may require more drivers to slow, stop and yield. Since some drivers are failing to slow, stop and yield, these new interchanges seemingly are necessary.  Due to the fact that the current intersections are simply not working,  evident in the number of serious and fatal crashes, steps have to be taken.

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Steps Following a Car Crash

If you have been injured in a motor vehicle crash, you will most likely need an attorney. It’s not that you want to hire an attorney, it’s just that few people who are injured can afford to lack legal representation.  If you are injured, then the healing process will take some time. Settlement too soon in your injury case can cost you a great deal or lead to financial hardship. The sheer amount of medical treatment needed after a crash makes planning for the future difficult. At minimum, contact one of our attorneys so we can give you the free information needed to make sound decisions.

Call 911 immediately. If you are in a crash, do not hesitate to call 911.  One, there may be injuries and your hesitation to call 911 can cost lives.  Second, after a crash on the roadway, safety is a huge concern. Emergency personnel can secure the scene and involve emergency medical assistance. Disabled cars that are subsequently hit in traffic can cause more fatalities and serious injuries. Third, you must all law enforcement so the crash can be documented. Do not rely on just sharing insurance  information.  Too often I talk with people who simply exchanged information to later find out that the other driver denied the crash ever occurred.

Seek immediate medical treatment.  In the first few hours after a crash, adrenaline may mask your pain and injuries. Any time you have trauma to your body, you should seek medical assistance.

Documentation: If you are injured, you are not in a good position to take photos of the other vehicles or exchange information. Officers responding to the crash will gather the needed information. Rarely do officers take photos of property damage, but your attorney can assist in getting those photos if you contact an attorney right away.  As well, officers will often take down witness names so that statements can be gathered later.

Call an experienced car crash attorney. If you are hurt, you will need legal advice.  Daily we talk with individuals who are not injured as well as those who are injured.  Sometimes, only time can reveal the severity of your injury. Happily, we talk to all victims of car crashes and we are happy to give you the information that is critical to your claim.

Call us toll free and seven days a week 1.800.685.3302 or locally 314.257.2053