According to the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT), there are 2,088 ramps that connect our interstates to small and big cities throughout the Hoosier state. (That equals approximately 658 miles in ramp roadway!)
And while we often associate a car accident with happening on major interstates and roadways, ramps see a considerable amount of collisions as well.
In fact, attorney Matt Boulton has handled a number of serious car accidents that have occurred on or near Indiana’s interstate entrance and exit ramps, and we’ll take a closer look at one of those cases in this blog.
Given his 25+ years’ experience handling different types of car accident cases, those that occur on or near interstate ramps can surprisingly share similarities in terms of what caused the collision.
Common Causes of Interstate Ramp Car Accidents
The configuration of Indiana’s many entrance and exit ramps vary in length and style, however, there can be a number of similar characteristics that you will often encounter, such as an exit ramp’s reduced speed limit sign, two-lane ramps that merge into one lane, and/or roundabouts that are connected to a ramp, etc.
No matter the style of ramp, or traffic controls used, Matt has reviewed a number of accident reports that reveal some common causes of interstate ramp car accidents, such as:
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Following too Close and/or Speeding
In a number of cases, interstate ramp car accidents take the shape of rear-end collisions. These types of accidents occur when traffic begins to back up at an interstate exit ramp. This is especially true if traffic is heavy, such as during rush-hour, or there is construction in the immediate area.
As traffic begins to slow near or on the ramp, a trailing driver will fail to reduce their speed and be unable to avoid the stopped traffic in front of them.
We have also witnessed when the exit ramps are not long enough to contain traffic, causing drivers to use the shoulder until they reach the exit ramp. This overflow can surprise drivers, causing them to make a sudden or erratic driving maneuver, which then leads to a rear-end collision.
Giving yourself plenty of space and driving the appropriate speed is key to avoiding any car accident, including those times when you are either using or simply passing by an interstate ramp.
Failure to Yield
Interstate ramps connecting to a city/town crossroad are often controlled by stoplights, signs, or lane markings designed to help regulate traffic and ensure an orderly, safe merge onto or off the roadway.
However, Matt has investigated a number of collisions that occurred on ramps when one or more drivers failed to see or use a safety signal in the proper manner.
In many cases, collisions occur when one driver fails to yield to another at a stoplight that is giving the right-of-way to a vehicle that is attempting to access the on-ramp or make their way off an interstate onto a crossroad.
Another type of failure to yield occurs when a two-lane ramp merges into one lane before entering or exiting the interstate, and a driver in the merge lane fails to yield to traffic in the main lane.
Failure to yield ramp accidents are often a case of one driver being confused or unsure of their surroundings and missing an important sign or signal intended to help control traffic’s right-of-way.
A number of larger interstate ramps may incorporate “Wrong Way” signs or other signals to help deter a driver from turning the wrong way onto an entrance or exit ramp, however, cases still occur in which automobiles collide due to a wrong-way driver.
There are a number of causes that can be attributed to wrong-way interstate ramp accidents, including:
- Alcohol or drugs
- Mental confusion
- Failure to wear required glasses/contacts
- Medical emergencies
- Downed signage or malfunctioning lights
- Fleeing from police and/or a chase
No matter the cause, it’s important for drivers to always be aware when they are using and/or near an interstate ramp, as the chance for confusion or negligence can lead to any number of incidents, including a wrong-way accident.
Indianapolis Interstate Ramp Car Accident Case
Boulton Law Group recently investigated an Indianapolis ramp car accident case that occurred due to a failure to yield.
According to the Indiana Crash Report, the investigating IMPD officer was dispatched to Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. Street and I-65 N 117B Ramp. This happens to be a very busy section of roadway with various volume levels of traffic:
According to the officer’s report, Vehicle 1 stated they were traveling northbound on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street and began to turn in order to merge onto I-65 North, where they collided with Vehicle 2, who was traveling southbound. Vehicle 1 said that it appeared to them that Vehicle 2 was merging onto I65 North as well, as Vehicle 2 had on its turn signal.
Vehicle 2 stated they were traveling southbound in the middle lane of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street and began merging into the far right lane just before the overpass, preparing to merge onto I65 South. Vehicle 2 stated as they were entering the far right lane they collided with Vehicle 1.
The occupant of Vehicle 2 sustained injuries that required medical assistance at the scene.
As you can see, the officer’s narrative describes a case of failure-to-yield, in which Vehicle 1 was found to be liable.
Questions About an Interstate Ramp Car Accident?
If you have been involved in a car or truck accident that occurred on or near one of our state’s interstate ramps, you may wish to consult with an experienced Indiana personal injury attorney.
Boulton Law Group has been helping Indiana’s accident victims for over 25 years. In addition to answering legal questions, our firm stands in to protect a person’s rights when they feel they are being unheard or undervalued by the insurance company.
In addition to award-winning legal service, Boulton Law Group offers everyone a Zero Fee Guarantee. This means you will never be charged a consultation fee or asked to pay the firm anything unless we are hired and make a financial recovery on your behalf.
If you wish to have us review your potential case, you may reach us by using our confidential, free contact form.