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Prevalence of car and truck accidents on I-44 causing concern

Drivers who regularly use the stretch of Interstate 44 between Halltown and Mount Vernon have reported concern about their safety. The Missouri Department of Transportation was asked to analyze the crash rate on this section of the roadway after multiple recent truck accidents and other collisions have caused chaos. It appears the unexpected curve in a long stretch of straight road catches drivers unaware.

It was reported that 11 crashes occurred in the same area at almost the same time over Labor Day weekend. More recently, a semi truck crash caused long delays. The crash rate turned out not to be any worse than that of the Interstate as a whole, and authorities believe it is a result of the increased number of vehicles using the roadway. Although rumble strips and cables have been added by the Missouri Department of Transportation, widening of the roadway is apparently not in the pipeline.

The wrecks commonly cause significant traffic delays, and in many cases emergency vehicles and medical helicopters have to get in to attend to injured motorists. These problems, and the clearing up and accident investigation afterward, prolong the delays. Drivers were urged to maintain safe following distances and be alert at all times.

While there seems to be no solution to the problem in the foreseeable future, motorists remain vulnerable on Missouri highways. Accidents will likely continue to occur when drivers lose concentration or engage in other forms of negligence. Victims of car or truck accidents -- or families who lost loved ones under such circumstances -- are entitled to pursue financial relief by filing personal injury or wrongful death claims in a civil court. Negligence by another party or parties must be established by appropriate evidence before a monetary judgment will be considered. If such a claim is successful, documented losses such as medical expenses and/or end-of-life costs may be awarded, along with other losses as allowed under applicable laws.

Source: ky3.com, "Recent wrecks on I-44 west of Springfield concern drivers", Linda Russell, Oct. 1, 2015

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