Top 5 Locations for Indiana Truck Accidents
Big rigs are the largest, and most intimidating vehicles on the road. The heaviness of the truck (especially when carrying a large load) makes it difficult to control when there are hazardous road or weather conditions. With a maximum weight of 80,000 pounds (in the United States), trucks take nearly twice as long to stop as a passenger vehicle. In 2017, approximately 4,000 people died nationwide in accidents with the large trucks.
Truck accidents can be extremely dangerous and devastating to all parties involved. In order to help Indiana drivers, we have compiled data on the deadliest stretches of highway for truck accidents in order that drivers might exercise extra caution to protect themselves and loved ones. For this article, we’re looking at how truck accidents affect the Indiana roadways. Using data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration we looked at data from 2007 – 2016 to highlight some of the critical insights on truck accidents throughout Indiana.
In the span of 10 years (from January 1, 2007, to December 31, 2016), there were 2,835 accidents involving trucks which resulted in resulted in the fatality of 1,206 truck drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, or occupant of another vehicle. Most of the fatalities were drivers of the big rigs or occupants of other vehicles, but 72 pedestrians and 11 cyclists also died in accidents involving trucks.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration conducted a study of nearly 1000 crashes over a three-year period to determine what triggered the accidents most often. While most accidents are complicated, there were some common factors in many of the incidents including brake problems (29%), driving too fast for conditions (23%), driver was unfamiliar with roadway (22 percent), driver was under the influence (17%), fatigue (13%), and distraction/inattention (17%).
When Truck Accidents Occur
Road conditions and visibility often play a role in any vehicular accident. Surprisingly, Indiana statistics show that over ten years most of all accidents involving trucks occurred between noon and 6 p.m. In fact, more than 2,000 of the accidents occurred during daylight hours (between noon and 6 p.m.) Nationally, most traffic accidents happen between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., encompassing the after-work traffic.
Indiana’s numbers indicate truck accidents are likely to happen any time of the year. The months of September (296), July (295), August (275), October (265) and June (250) had the highest frequency of truck accidents. While March and April had the two lowest accident totals, the numbers were still high with 187 crashes and 194 accidents respectively. Summer vacation and better weather likely attribute to more cars on the road which could be a factor affecting the number of incidents during those months.
Where Truck Accidents Occur in Indiana
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There are several counties in Indiana which have a higher number of truck accidents. Marion County takes the top spot for total incidents at 184, followed by Lake County with 153, Elkhart County with 104, and LaPorte with 92.
Surprisingly, none of these counties ranks as the deadliest. Despite their high number of incidents, the number of fatalities that resulted was lower compared to other areas.
Putnam County had ten fatalities on a single stretch of road. These deaths occurred on a 1.5 mile stretch of Interstate 70 between Asherville and Belle Union. While there were only 43 total incidents in Putnam County, nearly 25 percent of the accidents included at least one fatality.
Lake County is home to several deadly stretches of road including I-94 between Hammond and Lake Station, and 1-90 to the 65 interchange. There were five fatalities over a stretch of 1.67 miles. Additionally, Lake County had multiple fatalities between the 65 Interchange and Benton (an average of 3.07 deaths per mile on that stretch of road). Another high-fatality stretch of road includes a 1.96 mile stretch of Interstate 94 between 176th and the intersection Route 6 and Highway 912.
Allen County boasts three deadly stretches of roads including a section of 30 between the Goshen Road entrance and Hillegas Road, near the I-69 interchange, with an average of 2 fatalities per mile. There were an additional two deaths per mile just east of the Interstate 469/Route 24 interchange. There were two fatalities on a .07 stretch of road on Crescent Avenue, which isn’t a highway, as it crosses Coliseum Blvd.
Marion County hosts five deadly stretches of road. The highest fatality rate is on the 0.36 mile stretch of I-65 south of the I-465 interchange. Although just a very short stretch of road, there were 3 fatalities that resulted from truck accidents, translating to 8.33 fatalities per mile. Next, a 0.82 mile stretch of 1-74 between Big Run River and East Thompson Road witnessed 3 fatalities. That is 3.65 fatalities per mile. Furthermore, there were 4 truck accident fatalities along the 1.23 mile stretch of I-65 between 10th Street and the 70 interchange, equating to 3.25 fatalities per mile.
I-70, between South High School Road and South Lynhurst Drive is a also a dangerous section for Marion County with 3.06 fatalities per mile. There were 3 fatalities along this 0.98 mile stretch of road. Lastly, there were 1.79 fatalities per mile on I-65 between W 26th Street and N Capitol Avenue. Along this 1.67 mile stretch, there were 3 truck accident fatalities.
Other deadly stretches of road in the state include State Highway 31 between Sharpsville and East Union, in Tipton County with eight fatalities over 1.59 miles, and 1-70 between New Lisbon and Spring Grove.
How Can Truck Accidents Be Prevented?
Drivers are required to follow state and federal laws including mandated breaks, no cell phone use, regular maintenance and vehicle inspections, and weight limits. The most important things a truck driver can do to reduce their risk of an accident includes getting enough sleep, avoiding distractions (like cell phones), and properly maintaining their vehicles (including the tires).
For their part, drivers of passenger vehicles should use caution when driving near large vehicles. A rule of thumb: If you can’t see the truck’s rearview mirror, they likely cannot see you. Additionally, cutting in front of trucks too closely or riding too closely behind them could cause an accident. Trucks take much longer to slow down than a regular vehicle; give yourself enough space.
What to Do If You Have Been in a Truck Accident?
If you have been in a truck accident, it is essential that you get help immediately to increase your chances of getting the compensation you deserve. The longer you wait after an accident decreases your likelihood of receiving such compensation. Here at Doehrman Buba, we understand how devastating truck accidents can be, physically, financially, and emotionally. As skilled, experienced, and dedicated lawyers, we have defended the rights of several people who suffered after a truck accident. Contact us today for a free consultation. We are here to help.