U.S. Highway 8 runs east-west, connecting Interstate 35 in Forest Lake, Minnesota to U.S. 2 in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The highway extends as far down as Minneapolis and is touted as connecting the city to the countryside. Yet, Fox News 9 recently reported that the last 22 miles of the highway are particularly deadly.
Highway 8 connects the Twin Cities to Taylors Falls. Yet, the road is often riddled with frequent car accidents. The Minnesota Department of Transportation recently performed a safety audit of the highway. The audit found that between 2008 and 2012, 517 crashes took place along highway 8. The audit doesn’t count the crashes that have occurred in 2013 and more recently. Since 2005, 11 people have died on the highway.
MnDOT truck driver, Lloyd Law knows all too well the dangers of Highway 8. Law was driving west on Highway 8 earlier this year, when a car crossed the center lane of the two-lane highway, resulting in a head-on collision. Law tried to help the person who was in the car, but despite performing chest compressions and other first aid, he was unable to save the driver of the vehicle. The driver was so utterly trapped by the wreck that Law had to perform first aid from the back seat of the car. The man died.
Reports show that the span of Highway 8 that runs between Interstate 35 and Taylor’s Falls is accountable for more fatality and serious crash rates than most other two lane roads in Minnesota. The road sees quite a bit of commuter traffic in the state, with as many as 20,000 cars a day, with double this amount on the weekends.
Driver inattention accounts for a vast majority of the accidents that take place on Highway 8. As a result of all the accidents that have taken place, the Minnesota Department of Transportation had a rumble strip installed in the middle of the highway to warn drivers when they might be crossing into opposing traffic.
A better solution would be to put in a four-lane highway, but this solution could take years to implement due to lack of funding.
At the end of the day, drivers will need to pay more attention to the road when driving on Highway 8. Driver inattention clearly accounts for the vast majority of accidents that take place. Drowsy driving may also account for some of the accidents that take place. According to a Centers for Disease Control report, out of 92,000 individuals who were surveyed about their driving, a shocking 4 percent reported that they had actually fallen asleep while driving.
Individuals who have been injured along Minnesota’s highway of death should be aware that the law affords protections to ensure that they are reimbursed for property damage or personal injury sustained while on the road. The consequences of accidents include missed time on the job, months to years of rehabilitation, and high medical bills. Martin T. Montilino is a personal injury lawyer in Minneapolis, Minnesota who can help you recover your lost wages. Contact the Law Office of Martin T. Montilino today for a free initial consultation if you have been injured while driving.