Not too hard to figure this out — it’s Interstate 35
I-35W is one of the busiest highways in North Texas. We were all familiar with its constant traffic congestion, bottlenecks caused by crashed cars and trucks, and bumper-to-bumper commutes — and that was before construction began several years ago. Now the highway is much worse and even more dangerous.
I-35 construction contributed to huge 20% increase in Fort Worth traffic crashes this year
Construction began on I-35 in 2013. Since then, it has almost shut down the interstate, as this article in the Fort Worth Star Telegram describes. This has made driving north and south in Fort Worth extremely difficult for hundreds of thousands of drivers. But beyond the frustrations, the seemingly never-ending construction — the 10.1 mile project won’t be finished until 2018 — has put and will continue to put drivers in danger of getting into a collision.
Since construction began, the I-35 corridor has accounted for nine of the top 10 crash sites in the city. 9,862 traffic accidents occurred there from the start of 2016 just through June 20th. That means at least 20,000 wrecks will happen on I-35 this year. Wow!
What causes all of these wrecks?
These factors contribute to the jump in crashes in construction zones:
- Distracted drivers watching workers and machinery instead of the road. One construction worker blamed it on ” people on smartphones, people putting on makeup, eating food.”
- Impatient drivers tailgating, swerving between lanes and driving recklessly.
- Police not being able to pull over speeding drivers safely, hindering enforcement.
- Drivers using their cell phones in the crawling traffic, but the constant stop-and-go is the absolute worst time to text or surf the net.
- Construction companies often make careless mistakes.
The data confirms his assessment, with inattention accounting for 13,000 accidents, the second most common cause. I am handling or have handled a number of personal injury and wrongful death cases arising from I-35 construction zone crashes, including the crash cited by the Star Telegram (we are representing a very seriously injured woman who was the passenger in the vehicle driven by the deceased man) and here.
The data demonstrates that failure to yield the right of way was the third biggest factor, leading to 6,000 crashes. Drunk driving caused 2,000 crashes. Speeding was the primary cause.
The construction industry also bears responsibility for managing traffic appropriately to avoid the types of bottlenecks, stop-and-goes and surprises that creates dangerous roadway conditions. Misplaced or missing barriers and cones, unsupervised heavy equipment use, and failure to control the flow of traffic put workers and drivers at risk.
I am representing the family of a man killed when this construction company drove its excavator across the Interstate 820 at its juncture with I-35 without first shutting down the highway.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck or auto collision in Fort Worth or anywhere in North Texas, please contact my law firm. We will do everything possible to to get you the compensation you deserve.