At about 386 miles in length, the Interstate 57 that runs through Illinois is one of the longer highways in the Midwest. Beginning in South Chicago and terminating in what feels like the middle of nowhere in Sikeston, Missouri, the I-57 sees countless drivers each year. Unfortunately, with such a large number of motorists on the I-57, there is also a large number of car accidents. Indeed, there are auto accidents reported on the I-57 so often, it can seem like there is an inordinately high amount of them.
A recent study concluded that the I-57 was in fact the deadliest highway in all of Illinois. The data researchers used – dated from 2015 to 2017 – showed that 39 fatalities were confirmed on the I-57 in those three years. In other words, more than a dozen commuters are losing their lives on the I-57 each year, with many, many more suffering serious injuries.
What is causing there to be so many I-57 accidents?
Commercial Trucks Going North to South
The I-57 is a favorited route for commercial trucks and big rigs carrying all sorts of cargo. To the east of the I-57 is Indianapolis and to the west is St. Louis. Trucks can use this route to reach both of these major cities. Or, if they do not have a stop at either one, then the I-57 acts as an expedited path further south. Wherever there are more commercial trucks to be found on the road, there will always be an increased risk of getting into a bad motor vehicle accident.
Widespread Construction Throughout the I-57
A quick glance at the Illinois Department of Transportation website and searching for information about the I-57 reveals a major problem with the highway: near-constant construction. Everything from repaving long stretches of the highway to building a diamond interchange and lane closures to full-scale interchange projects all come up in alarming frequency, with many of the reports being dated in recent years.
With construction happening around the calendar, it is difficult for I-57 drivers to become familiarized with the highway, increasing the chances of making a mistake that causes a crash. Of course, simply driving through a construction zone can prove highly hazardous due to additional distractions and possible debris in the road. The many construction vehicles in route to a construction zone can also dot the I-57, creating a similar road hazard as too many tractor trailers.
High Speed Limits Cause Increased Dangers
Back in 2014, the Illinois Department of Transportation made the decision to increase the speed limit from 65 miles per hour to 70 along certain stretches of the I-57. The goal was to reduce the number of accidents where the I-57 merged or intersected highways with higher speed limits. However, the predicted consequence of people abusing the higher speed limit has certain occurred as well. Faster drivers mean more dangerous roads. The problem is perhaps only escalated where the speed limit unexpectedly drops back down to the usual 65 mph.
Hurt on the I-57? We Can Help
For nearly 50 years, Sam C. Mitchell & Associates have been represented the wrongfully injured across Illinois, including client after client who was hurt in an auto accident along the I-57. If you were in a crash on the Interstate 57, we should be your first choice of legal representation. Our I-57 accident attorneys can work together on your case to pinpoint why your crash happened, who caused it, and who should be liable for your damages.
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Would you like to know more about our representation for drivers hurt on the I-57 of Illinois? Call (618) 505-1660 or contact us onlineat any time.
- WSIL 3 ABC article: “I-57 named deadliest highway in Illinois”