If you are a Hoosier that works downtown, or lives in one of Indianapolis’s many surrounding suburbs, odds are great that you are intimately familiar with one of our city’s most busy interstates: I-465, or as some locals say, “The Loop.”
For most of us, we cannot recall a time when I-465 did not exist. And while construction on the interstate started in 1959, the entire 53-mile loop was not completed until 1970. But truth be told, construction has never stopped, and it continues to appear on the beltway year after year, season after season.
Despite being well-known and regularly maintained, I-465 also has a somber history, serving as the location for many of Indiana’s most high-profile and serious car accidents. Do a quick Google of “I-465 accidents” and there is no shortage of results that detail crashes involving cars, semi-trucks, motorcycles, etc.
In fact, attorney Matt Boulton has handled a number of accident cases that have occurred on I-465. His experience with these incidents has led him to identify a number of contributing factors that can make the interstate a dangerous route for Indiana natives as well as out-of-state travelers.
Below is Boulton Law Group’s list of I-465 dangers that contribute to car and truck accidents that have resulted in traumatic injuries.
I-465 Traffic Congestion
It is no surprise that congestion is a lead cause of collisions on I-465. Simply consider the list of interstates, highways, and state roads that feed into the interstate:
- U.S. 52
- U.S. 40
- U.S. 36
- U.S. 31
- U.S. 421
- U.S. 136
- U.S. 36
- U.S. 40
- State Road 67
- State Road 37
Given that there are 15 major interstates, high, and state roads, that feed into I-465, it is only natural that the constant barrage of merging and exiting traffic will lead to routine congestion.
And keep in mind, this list does not even include the number of smaller roads that feed into I-465, such as Allisonville Road, Lafayette Road, 56th Street, etc.!
Each day, hundreds of thousands of vehicles use some or all of I-465’s expanse for various reasons. And depending on the time of day, e.g., rush-hour, it can seem like there is hardly enough road to contain the traffic volume.
However, congestion does not cause accidents by itself. It is the actions or disregard of other drivers during times of congestion that result in collisions, such as:
- Road rage
- Improper lane usage
Considering the city’s current demographics, it is unlikely that I-465 will see less congestion anytime soon, as the population in and around Indianapolis continues to rise.
I-465’s Many Entrance and Exit Ramps
As mentioned above, I-465 is a magnet for entrance and exit ramps from the various interstates, state roads and highways that connect to it from all sides of the city.
Given the high speeds and volume of traffic, merge accidents have become a growing concern. Drivers either fail to allow oncoming traffic to merge from the feeder roads, or vehicles attempting to merge will precariously cut across lanes.
Depending on the time of day, merging on or off I-465 can also result in a standstill or backup, and it can happen in an instant.
For example, there are several exit ramps on I-465 that become backed up during rush-hour, leading vehicles to come to a stop on shoulders as they attempt to exit the interstate and reach the traffic light that regulates flow on the highways and state roads.
I-465 is a Popular Route for Semi-Trucks
Anyone who has traveled on I-465 can attest to the fact that semi-trucks are a familiar sight. Sharing the road with 40 tons of metal is a risk you will take no matter where you find yourself on the busy interstate.
Given Indianapolis’s unique geographic position, we have long been a popular passageway for commercial trucks traveling to and from neighboring city’s such as Chicago, St Louis, Detroit, Louisville, etc.
The Circle City is also home to more than 20 sizeable trucking companies, such as Celadon, Venture Logistics, J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Old Dominion Freight Line, etc. Being that the city serves as a hub for trucking companies, it can be expected that I-465 will be regularly used by 18-wheelers.
And with no shortage of big rigs passing through Indianapolis, there has unfortunately been a number of semi-truck accidents that involve passenger vehicles.
Speeding on I-465
The speed limit on I-465 is 55 MPH, and whether we agree with the posted limit on I-465 or not, is a topic for another discussion.
However, the fact remains that you will often find drivers exceeding the speed limit, sometimes at alarming rates. Combine high rates of speed with the other factors listed in this blog and there are bound to be significant collisions leading to traumatic injuries.
Consider this, when traveling at 50 mph, your risk of sustaining an injury increases to 69%, and the chances that it involves traumatic injury increases to 52%. If your involved in a collision with a vehicle where speeds are at 70 mph, the chances of a fatality increase dramatically.
Lastly, high speeds on interstates like I-465 also do not mix well with inclement weather, and we all know that the Hoosier state’s weather can be notoriously unpredictable. If someone is speeding on I-465 during rainy, wet conditions or snow and ice-covered pavement, the chances of a crash are inevitable.
I-465’s Corner-Style Turns
When you look at a map of I-465, you see more of a box-shape than you do an actual circle. and while it doesn’t contain 4 instances of hairpin corners, there are bends that can temporarily obstruct a person’s field of vision.
Of particular note is the northwestern corner of I-465, where I-865 connects between 96th street and Zionsville Road. This corner of I-465 is one that must be taken with caution, as it is the most acute angle of the interstate’s four corners.
I-465 Construction Dangers
We opened this blog with discussion of I-465’s famed and well-known history of ongoing construction. There is rarely, if ever, a time when some form of construction is not occurring on the interstate.
Given that Indianapolis’s population continues to soar, I-465 construction crews have consistently been called on to reconfigure lanes and perform routine maintenance on an interstate that is bulging at the seams.
The fact is, Indiana offers drivers a number of resources to alert them to ongoing road construction throughout our state, including on I-465. Some of the resources include:
- Digital interstate message boards
- INDOT TrafficWise website
- INDOT Real-Time Traffic Conditions
- Various state-sponsored construction resources
- Promotion of National Work Zone Awareness Week
And while these campaigns and tools provide Hoosiers with insight into the location and dangers of road construction on interstates such as 465, there continues to be stories of work zone accidents, often leading to fatal consequences.
Boulton Law Group has spoken previously about the many accident-related dangers of road construction, and we continue to be contacted by victims and families of loved ones who have sustained serious injury in a work zone accident.
Construction on I-465 will always be present, however, it is up to us to drive responsibly in these areas so that we do not risk the safety of the roadworkers, fellow drivers, and ourselves.
Distracted Drivers on I-465
While it is by no means a problem restricted to I-465, we believe the dangers of distracted driving are worth mentioning any time we have the opportunity.
Over the last decade our office has seen a surge in accidents that were caused by distracted drivers, including incidents on I-465.
Given the high speeds, congestion, and stop-and-go traffic, anyone who engages in distracted driving on I-465 is quite simply risking their life and the lives of those around them.
Indiana recently introduced a Hands-Free Law that makes it illegal to be holding a device while operating a vehicle, and we remain hopeful that this may help to save lives and prevent traumatic injuries.
That said, the biggest factors that remain a threat in distracted driving incidents include:
- Mobile phones (texting, talking, browsing)
- In-dash displays
- GPS systems
- Fellow passengers
- Food and drink
- Personal grooming
I-465 presents enough hazards on its own, so please give it your complete focus anytime you are traveling on this interstate, or any other roadway.
Did Your Car Accident Happen on I-465?
If you were injured in a crash on I-465, Boulton Law Group recommends that you speak to an experienced Indianapolis personal injury lawyer who has handled similar cases in the past.
Given the unique factors that have been known to lead to collisions on I-465, it is important that you retain legal counsel who is familiar with the interstate and can collect the evidence needed to strengthen your claim and counter an insurance company’s defense.
Attorney Matt Boulton has more than 20 years’ experience resolving personal injury claims on behalf of injured Hoosiers, including a number of serious accidents that have occurred on I-465.
In addition to his supreme focus on winning his clients’ cases, Matt and his hand-picked legal team have also developed a reputation for providing one-of-a-kind client service, as supported by the firms reviews and peer-related accolades. As such, the firm has maintained a mission of aiming to ensure every client Gets Treated Like Family.
Boulton Law Group offers anyone injured on I-465 a Zero Fee Guarantee. This promise means that you will never pay for our friendly legal advice, and you will never owe the firm anything until we win your case.
If you would like to speak with Matt today, call direct at 317-350-2680. Or, if you prefer to write to us, please use our confidential contact form. Matt personally reviews every web contact received at our firm.
We look forward to hearing your story and learning how we can help you!
Attorney Matt Boulton is an award-winning personal injury attorney with more than 20 years of experience helping seriously injured people throughout Indiana reclaim what was taken from them. His firm was created for for the client who expects exceptional service and passionate, successful legal representation.