The Kansas Turnpike, or I-70, has been a major component of the transportation infrastructure of Kansas since the 1950s. In recent years, the number of vehicles traveling on the Kansas Turnpike has increased dramatically, reaching an all-time high of 38.6 million vehicles in 2015. This was an increase of 6.4 percent from the previous year, when 36.3 million vehicles traveled on the Kansas Turnpike.
Of course, more traffic means a greater risk of car accidents. With millions of vehicles traveling on the Kansas Turnpike every month, it’s an unfortunate statistical reality that there are going to be more accidents. More importantly, as traffic and accidents increase, where is the rate of car accidents the highest?
The Most Dangerous Parts of the Kansas Turnpike
According to a five-year study conducted by I-70 Major Investment Study (MIS), the most dangerous parts of the Kansas Turnpike tend to be where larger numbers of vehicles are merging, exiting or entering I-70. More specifically, the most dangerous part of the Kansas Turnpike is the Downtown Loop, which had 340.5 crashes per million vehicle miles of travel. This represents a rate that is 316 percent over the statewide average, and indicates that the Downtown Loop is by far the most dangerous part of the Kansas Turnpike.
While the Downtown Loop is the hands-down worst for car accident rates, there are several other parts of the Kansas Turnpike that should be avoided as well. For example, the Van Brunt Interchange and the Jackson Curve both have more than double the average crash rate when compared to the rest of the state, with rates of 221 percent and 218 percent, respectively.
The Manchester Interchange, the U.S. 40 West Interchange and the I-435 Interchanges all have nearly double the crash rates as well, with respective crash rates of 196 percent, 173 percent and 175 percent.
The bottom line is this: If you are driving on the Downtown Loop, the Jackson Curve, or any of the major interchanges, it is absolutely imperative that you do everything you can to stay safe.
Staying Safe on the Kansas Turnpike
While some accidents are unfortunately inevitable, there are things you can do to reduce the risk of being in an accident. First and foremost, you should always pay complete attention to the road, including changing conditions, merging or erratic vehicles, and anything else that might become a hazard. Being alert at all times can give you the extra second or two of reaction time you need to avoid a fatal crash.
It’s also important to remember that wildlife, and particularly deer, are a fairly common occurrence on the Kansas Turnpike. By keeping an eye out for these animals, you can reduce the risk of one of them catching you by surprise.
Finally, although it should go without saying, do not text or otherwise use your smartphone while driving — the loss of reaction time can be the difference between arriving safely at your destination or becoming a statistic.
Professional and Courteous Car Accident Attorneys
The law offices of Mann, Wyatt, and Rice specialize in helping car accident victims in Kansas City. Car accidents can be an absolutely devastating occurrence, leading to everything from massive medical bills to weeks or even months of time lost at work. If you need a Kansas car accident attorney, we encourage you to seek out the professional, compassionate and trustworthy car accident attorneys at Mann, Wyatt & Rice.