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Accident Rates Have Trended High During Cincinnati I-75 Project

Many motorists in the Cincinnati area have had few alternatives to avoiding ongoing construction work on Interstate 75. The Ohio Department of Transportation (DOT) project began in 2008 to widen and realign sectors of a freeway through Hamilton County, Warren County and Butler County. Major work has also had implications for traffic on the double-decker interstate bridge over the Ohio River.

A recent series of stories in the Middletown Journal looked at a nineteen-mile stretch of I-75 through Warren and Butler Counties and explained how the project has led to increased car accident rates in the area. The stretch saw two and a half wrecks per day in 2010, slightly down from 2009, and the Ohio Highway Patrol has identified road construction as a key factor.

Statistics show a 50 percent rise in motor vehicle accidents since 2005 on I-75 in Warren County from State Highway 63 to the Montgomery County border. Looking only at crashes that resulted in a personal injury, the increase was a troubling 217 percent from 2005 to 2010, based on data from the highway patrol’s Statistical Analysis Unit.

Because I-75 is the major metropolitan artery that links Cincinnati to Dayton, hundreds of thousands of southern Ohioans depend on it for commuting and regional travel. Work-related car accidents, truck accidents and motorcycle accidents can all result from the difficult road conditions created in construction zones. Ever-present risks like uneven pavement transitions, construction vehicles and confusing signage should be on every driver’s radar.

Causes of Motor Vehicle Accidents: Holding Distracted Drivers Accountable

Drivers must endure the major traffic slowdowns, dust and unpredictability that come with a major highway improvement. But we can’t count on all drivers to slow down and focus on the road. The local highway patrol post commander characterized the construction corridor as “a war zone.” Several local drivers put the blame for increased accidents squarely on the shoulders of distracted drivers, providing examples of last second exit maneuvers by cell phone users.

One of the worst safety hazards of any major road project is the violence of a rear-end accident due to a distracted driver’s failure to notice that traffic has slowed. Whiplash injuries, other back injuries and brain injuries can cause tremendous challenges for accident victims to overcome.

With nearly 100,000 drivers passing through the I-75 work zones every day, the potential for serious and fatal car accidents deserves every driver’s attention. When drivers callously disregard others’ safety, a Cincinnati car accident lawyer can help an injury victim or surviving family member assess the legal options.

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