Ramping Up on Accidents


October 26, 2016 / Vehicle Accidents

Some of the most hectic interstate roads in the U.S. run through the Louisville area. We have I-71, I-64, I-65, I-264, and I-265, not to mention busy non-interstates like the Dixie Highway. That many roads filled with traffic mean large numbers of exit and entrance ramps and, with them, a greatly-increased possibility of accidents.

Entrance and exit ramps have many more crashes per mile than any other section of interstate highways. Research done in Northern Virginia on 1,150 crashes that took place on highly-traveled interstate ramps in urban areas identified the most likely crash types and situations. Exit and entrance ramp crashes are not studied very often, so the research that we do have is valuable.

What Kinds of Crashes Happened Most?

In the 2004 study, crashes fell into the following patterns:

  • Around half of all ramp crashes took place when at-fault drivers were exiting interstates..
  • When at-fault drivers were entering interstates, around 36 percent of all crashes took place.
  • The remaining 16 percent of all crashes occurred either at the middle stretches of access roads, or on ramps that connected two interstates.

The three kinds of crashes that represented 95 percent of all accidents were:

  • Rear-end crashes (most common when entering an interstate)
  • Sideswipe or “cutoff” crashes (most common when entering an interstate)
  • Run-off-the-road crashes (most common when exiting an interstate).

Crashes in general happened most often at night, in bad weather, on ramp curves, and other poor-visibility situations. Speed, of course, factored in as well, because a speeding driver can easily miscalculate distances and end up hitting someone. Alcohol was also an issue and was reported in a significant number of run-off-the-road crashes on ramps (14 percent) and in what are known as ramp margin crashes (30 percent). Ramp margins are the points at which the access roads or ramps enter or exit highways. The most common variety of vehicular crash on access roads was the rear-ender, and it was more likely to happen if traffic congestion was substantial.

Sometimes accidents happen because of poor roadway design, but this factor was not a part of the study referenced above. Also, drivers who are not paying attention increase the chances of having any kind of crash, but the study did not address driver inattention.

What Are the Louisville Numbers?

In Louisville, from 1/1/15 thru 8/20/16, 149 non-commercial ramp crashes occurred. (Non-commercial means that commercial vehicles such as delivery and tractor-trailer trucks were not included in the statistics.) Of these 149 accidents, 47 crashes involved only one vehicle. With the 102 other crashes:

  • 82 of them were rear-end accidents
  • 11 of them were sideswipes
  • 7 crashes were angled (cars struck each other at an angle)
  • 1 crash (in a multi-vehicle situation) was rear-to-rear
  • 1 crash involving 2 vehicles was head-on.

Of the 102 non-single-vehicle crashes, 23 involved 3 vehicles, and 5 crashes involved 4 vehicles:

  • 25 crashes were rear-end accidents
  • 1 was an angle crash
  • 1 was a sideswipe
  • 1 was rear-to-rear.

Two fatalities occurred: one in a 3-vehicle situation, and one in a 4-vehicle situation, the latter occurring in June, 2016. In that unfortunate wreck, one person was killed and four were injured.

As we can see from the numbers, the overwhelming majority of crashes on ramps in Louisville have been rear-ending ones, bearing out the research of the 2004 study. Your takeaway? Pay strict attention when entering and exiting interstates and major highways, don’t speed, and don’t drive while under the influence. We can’t promise that such precautions will always help you avoid an accident, but they can’t hurt.

When others breach their duty, we keep ours.

We at Stephenson Rife know that vehicular accident cases can mean complex legal claims. Such claims require thorough investigation and demand aggressive litigation to secure the best possible outcome for the plaintiff. While monetary compensation can never undo the damage done as the result of a crash, a financial recovery can ease the burdens caused by overwhelming medical bills, loss of income, and disability.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a ramp accident or other car crash in the Louisville, Kentucky, area, we suggest you talk with vehicular accident lawyer Mike Stephenson. With more than three decades of experience, substantial financial resources to dedicate to your case, and a commitment to the highest standards of client care, you can count on Mike. Contact him today by calling 1-317-825-5200 for a free accident consultation, or use our online contact form. At Stephenson Rife, we believe justice matters.

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