The I-20 at I-59 construction shutdown is causing misery for many drivers. Eighteen wheelers are taking Carraway Boulevard straight through the city for their convenience, rather than using the Alabama Department of Transportation’s suggested route of continuing on highway I-459 around the city. A five-mile stretch of Carraway Boulevard where most accidents appear to be occurring runs between 11th Avenue and Finley Boulevard. While Carraway is a four lane highway, it doesn’t lend itself to being “big-rig” friendly.
Mezrano Law Firm is actively pursuing compensation for several victims of unnecessary and horrific trucking accidents due to the Carraway detour, but we won’t stop fighting to help every victim out there. We want to send a message to the truckers and transportation companies that taking the easy route isn’t the right solution for the safety of our citizens. Trucks taking detours through the city to get around I-65 and Red Mountain Expressway puts everyday drivers at high risk for injury and death, and the behavior needs to stop.
Why is the Carraway Blvd. shortcut a problem?
Freight carriers favor I-20 because it offers a straight away that’s easy for transporting goods between South Carolina and Texas while they can pick up I-59 and run between New Orleans and Chattanooga. While the bridge is alleged to be safer once it’s finished, that does little to help commuters who have been victimized by the 3,400 or more trucks detouring every day to since its closure this past January. Many of these big vehicles have chosen Carraway Boulevard because it cuts a direct path right through Birmingham rather than taking the long way around, as recommended by officials.
Tractor trailers do not have the ability to safely maneuver on Carraway Boulevard due to their size and space needed to make turns. They’re not like passenger vehicles that can make sharp turns. Trucks have the capacity to cause damage unparalleled by any other roadway vehicle, and they’ve been proving that fact. Carraway’s narrow and winding lanes are not suitable for regular large vehicle traffic. Passenger vehicles are being hit, causing significant injuries to occupants and their vehicles. Some of the dangers include that:
- Trucks need room to navigate an intersection; open space that they don’t have on Carraway, giving credence to the ALDOT recommendation that they remain on I-459.
- Trucks are “high clearance” vehicles, making them susceptible to tipping over.
- Space is limited on four-lane roads making it difficult for 18-wheelers to maintain lane control.
- Trucks require open space to properly turn corners to minimize risks of tipping over or striking nearby vehicles, telephone poles, or edging up on a sidewalk.
- Large trucks have blind spots known as “no zones” where the driver can’t see passenger vehicles. Per Truckers Report, “Passenger drivers can stay out of truck blind spots by avoiding tailgating, keeping the truck’s rear-view mirrors in sight, [and] giving plenty of space when driving in front of a truck.” All of these tips are great, as long as you’re on a highway where there’s plenty of room to allow for this. Congested city streets make this nearly impossible for other drivers to do, and experienced truckers know this, and know they are posing a danger to smaller vehicles by taking shortcuts through the City of Birmingham.
Everyone is being inconvenienced by the highway construction; however, truck drivers and trucking companies owe a duty to the public to take all available safety measures to avoid causing injuries to innocent victims while they do their job. There has been an appropriate and safe alternate route for truck drivers to use throughout the duration of the I-20/I-59 construction project, yet many prefer to unnecessarily risk lives by traveling on roads predominantly intended for passenger vehicles.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a truck on Carraway Boulevard during the I-20/I-59 construction project, speak with one of the caring Alabama truck accident attorneys at Mezrano Law Firm. You may be entitled to seek compensation for your injuries caused by the negligence of the truck driver. To schedule your free case evaluation, reach out to us through our contact page, or call 205-206-6300. Mezrano Law Firm proudly serves victims in the areas of Birmingham, Mobile, Florence, Tuscaloosa, Gadsden, and Montgomery.