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The Most Dangerous Highways in Alabama

Offered by Dean Waite & Associates LLC

It only takes a moment for a serious accident to happen on a highway, and the consequences can last a lifetime. No matter how careful you are, a single speeding, distracted or impaired driver can cause a wreck that leaves you with a permanent injury.

If you were hurt in a highway accident in Alabama, you likely have more questions than answers. What happened? What comes next? How will you get your medical bills paid? An experienced car accident lawyer can guide you forward.

What makes highways so dangerous?

Several factors can make highway driving dangerous, but perhaps the most important are high speed and high traffic volume. At high speeds, motorists have less time to react to hazards or changing road conditions, and crashes become deadlier because of the increased force of impact. In addition, the high traffic volume on many highways means there is less room for error and more opportunity for a single negligent driver to cause a multi-vehicle collision.

Many Alabama highways have a high volume of truck traffic, which adds to the danger for occupants of smaller vehicles, especially on roads in the northeastern part of the state that pass through the Appalachians with significant uphill and downhill grades. Alabama’s east-west highways also have a high concentration of out-of-state drivers passing through the state. These drivers may not be as familiar with the area, and they may be tired and have a higher likelihood of falling asleep at the wheel.

What are the most dangerous highways in Alabama?

Some of Alabama’s highways have earned a reputation for being particularly deadly. Among those highways are:

Interstate 10

The main east-west thoroughfare of Alabama’s Gulf Coast region, I-10 runs from the Mississippi state line near Grand Bay, through Mobile County and Baldwin County, to the Florida state line at the Perdido River. I-10 is often ranked one of the most dangerous highways in the country due to high rates of impaired driving and poor visibility at night. As a transcontinental highway, it’s particularly notorious for crashes during the holiday travel season.

Route 431

U.S. Route 431, also designated as SR 1, runs north-south through the eastern half of Alabama, from Medianville at the Tennessee state line down to Dothan, about 13 miles from the Florida state line. The Alabama portion of US 431 is notoriously dangerous, often dubbed the “Highway to Hell.” Driving on US 431 is dangerous because of the low visibility, dangerous curves, high speeds, and varying numbers of lanes which means a great deal of merging. In addition, 431 cuts through several towns and cities, so highway traffic is not always separated from local traffic.

Interstate 59

I-59 is a north-south route, the Alabama portion of which runs northeast from the Mississippi border up to the Georgia state line near the northeast corner of the state. Several parts of I-59 are highly dangerous for motorists, such as the section that runs through Birmingham. The crossover interchange between I-59 and I-65 in Birmingham, commonly called “Malfunction Junction,” historically saw many accidents per year due to its confusing design. Fortunately, the interchange has since been reconfigured, but it can still be dangerous.

Interstate 65

I-65 is Alabama’s biggest north-south thoroughfare, running right down the middle of the state and connecting six of the 10 largest cities, including Mobile, Montgomery, Birmingham, Decatur, Hoover, and Huntsville. In addition to the aforementioned “Malfunction Junction” with I-59 and I-20, several stretches of I-65 are highly dangerous because of uphill and downhill slopes, especially when water pools on the road surface and causes hydroplaning.

Interstate 20

I-20 is an east-west route that runs concurrently with I-59 from the Mississippi state line through Tuscaloosa and into eastern Birmingham before splitting off to proceed straight east to the Georgia state line. The section of I-20 between Leeds and Pell City, sometimes called “Bloody 20,” is among the most dangerous roads in Alabama because of the steep uphill grades, high speeds, and heavy truck traffic.

Interstate 85

One of Alabama’s main thoroughfares, I-85 runs east-west, from Montgomery, through Tuskegee, Auburn, Opelika, and to the Georgia state line near Valley. I-85, particularly the Macon County stretch near Tuskegee, regularly ranks among the most dangerous highways in America, and it is particularly deadly in inclement weather.

What to do after a highway accident in Alabama

As with any car accident, you need to call 911 and wait for the Alabama Highway Patrol to respond. The police will secure the scene, get medical attention for anyone who needs it, and fill out an official accident report, which becomes a key piece of evidence if you later need to file an injury claim or lawsuit. You also need to get checked out by a doctor, both to protect your health and to create a record of your injuries.

You also need to watch what you say at the scene and to an insurance company after the accident. Alabama is a contributory negligence state, which means if you are even partially at fault for the wreck, you generally can’t recover compensation. Insurance companies know this, and they seize on every opportunity to deny claims and leave injured people on their own. To the extent you must talk about the accident with the investigating officer, others at the scene, and your insurance company, stick to the facts of what happened, and don’t say anything about fault. Be sure to avoid discussing the accident afterward with anyone other than your lawyer – including on social media.

Get an experienced car accident lawyer on your side as soon as possible

Besides getting medical attention, the most important thing you can do after a highway accident in Alabama is to call an experienced attorney. Your lawyer can investigate the accident and start building your case for full compensation. Just as importantly, your attorney can deal with the insurance company or companies on your behalf and protect your interests while you focus on getting better.

The sooner you take action, the better. Under Alabama law, you have up to two years to file a lawsuit, but the longer you wait, the harder it is to build a case. Evidence disappears, witnesses forget what happened, and insurance companies will seize on the delay to find excuses to deny your claim. Most car accident lawyers offer a free consultation, so there is no downside to getting answers about your rights. If you were hurt in a highway accident in Alabama, contact a car accident lawyer in your area today.

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Founded by attorney Dean Waite, our Mobile, Alabama law firm helps people injured in accidents caused by someone else’s reckless or negligent behavior. We handle personal injury c...