While Atlanta is known for several appealing qualities including its breathtaking views, impressive selection of restaurants, bustling city life and overall southern hospitality, there is one large obstacle that locals and visitors alike can agree on as a source of constant anxiety and affliction: I-285. Local commuters know the struggle all too well and grit their teeth at the mere thought of how many hours they spend sitting in unavoidable traffic during rush hour. Many of us that drive this route day-to-day more than likely have a handful of scary highway stories. If you are reading this and are new to the Atlanta area, you will soon find out what we are talking about here. I-285 is an interstate highway loop that encompasses both the city of Atlanta as well as territory that is deemed “in The Perimeter.” With several access points to surrounding highways and state roads, I-285 has become not only Georgia’s most busy highway, but in the entire nation. With this being said, the highway has an extremely high volume of commuting vehicles, giving it a reputation for both gridlock traffic and a point of supply for hazardous car accidents.
Completed in 1962, I-285 opened as a four-lane freeway with two lanes of traffic designated for each direction. As an interstate system that was designed over 50 years ago, the structure, curvature and overall alignment was not built to handle the massive cargo that are today’s norm of shipment transportation. In 2008, a reported amount of 13,275 semi-truck accidents occurred in Georgia. As well as being designed for a different era of cars and trucks, the now 63.98 mile I-285 loop was never intended to accommodate such a massive amount of vehicles. Over two million drivers travel its lanes daily which is absolutely mind blowing to think about. This interstate now consists of nerve-wrecking eight to twelve lanes which can be rather daunting too many – yet sometimes inevitable for the daily Atlanta commuter.
Both traffic experts and commuters consider I-285 dangerous for many reasons. As sharp curves and exit ramps are present throughout the entirety of the interstate, inadequate signage and lighting often inhibit drivers from noticing sharp turns before it’s too late. According to Vox, in 2013 I-285 witnessed more fatal accidents per mile than any other existing interstates. It is estimated that there are on average eight fatalities every single day. The same year, 29 accident-related fatalities, including motorcycle accidents and truck accidents, occurred on Atlanta’s most populated interstate. These accidents are not always a driver-error, but a direct link to road rage. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety held a survey to find out how many people on average show signs of aggression while behind the wheel. Can you take a guess? Drumroll please! The survey showed that a whopping 80% of Georgia drivers have participated in some form of road rage, from cursing another driver to making offensive gestures.
One point on the interstate loop that is deemed tricky is where I-285 leads into I-20. If you make this drive frequently, you may find yourself up a creek without a paddle. This junction is dangerous due to its difficult turns combined with a large quantity of individuals who surpass the speed limit. Another challenging portion of the interstate is where I-285 meets I-75 with over 40 accidents having occurred at that specific interchange. With this many people on the road at any given time, added with the usage of technology while driving causing distractions and constant roadwork, this all constitutes a cocktail for disaster.
Although millions of drivers travel on I-285 daily, the interstate loop is still a catalyst for all sorts of car accidents, including pedestrian accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents and bus accidents. It is important for everyone to practice safety every day while driving. If you or a loved one has suffered a car accident on I-285, contact one of our attorneys at Hammers Law Firm today. We are enthusiastic and dedicated to helping you in every way that we possibly can. Thank you for your interest in Hammers Law Firm, and to all the fellow Georgia residents commuting to and from work, please stay safe.