I’m going to step out of line today and answer this question about why clients get injured while using I-35 (or I-80) while traveling through Iowa. I could probably answer this question equally well, well maybe, for Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma or Texas but I’ll leave that to Brooks Scheulke, Mike Bryant, Noble McIntyre or Jeremy Thurman to do since they know those states better. Iowa’s intestate is mostly flat, but some rolling hills. From the north to the south I-35 is pretty straight and all four lanes. In central Iowa it jogs around Des Moines and becomes a part of I-80. Once you get to the south end of that loop you’re almost out of West Des Moines and I-80 separates off and heads west to Omaha, Nebraska. From there it’s a straight shot through to Missouri.
I’ve been studying the cause of accidents along I-35 for the better part of thirty years and although I’m not capable of naming all the reasons there are several that stick with me as a personal injury lawyer.
1. Alcohol related – driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
2. Speed – driving too fast for the conditions, those conditions include weather and construction zones.
3. Distracted driving – driving while using a cell phone, an iPod, controlling the kids, eating, pets, arguing or any of the myriad of distractions that form a part of the epidemic of driver distractions.
4. Look out – driving without looking where you’re going and I mean paying close enough attention and focusing your attention to changing conditions.
5. Anger management issues – this one I’ve seen more and more of on the Interstate 35 and 80. Road rage is a popular term that doesn’t quite describe what this one is about. I say that because it makes pissed off drivers sound like they have an uncontrollable disease; when in fact it’s all controllable. Even women suffer from it although I suspect men allow anger management issues to creep into the driver’s seat more often.
6. Deer – OMG! It’s a deer. Yup this is Iowa and when the crop starts coming out of the field so goes their habitat and they must keep moving. Deer are more active at dawn and dusk so watch closer during those times. Especially you who are on motorcycles.
7. Being in a hurry – especially around the cities of Des Moines, West Des Moines, Urbandale, Clive, Waukee, Ankeny, Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Davenport, Council Bluffs, Waterloo and Cedar Falls we have people using the interstate system for inner city travel. There’s nothing wrong with it but it does add cars, trucks, motorcycles, delivery vehicles, lawn car trucks and all those other errand types of traffic that seem to add clutter with people in a hurry. Being in a hurry is no excuse for not being courteous, thoughtful, mindful and realizing that you’re now on the Interstate highway system. So slow down and use other roads if you can.
8. Inexperienced or youthful drivers – You know everyone sees these kids and younger adults driving. We rent parking spaces to high school students and their cars are always so easily spotted. There are a million dangly things hooked onto the rear view mirror, that block the view out the windshield. The driver’s head is down many times because they are texting. Many times there are a bunch of them in the car and that youthful exuberance seems to get everyone talking at once and heads bobbing to the conversation. Since many know they aren’t following their parent’s rules they are always looking around furtively hoping you’re not their PARENT! Anyway you know it’s true and you’ve seen them violating most of these rules of the road.
9. Not thinking – drivers forget when they get to a construction zone that they need to adjust their attitudes for the changing conditions. The drop in speed limit isn’t just a suggestion. Those road crew workers aren’t crash test dummies; they are real people that actually die if you strike them. Road workers can’t always be watching you so get as far over and away from their area as you can. When you see a road crew, the sign should give that away, adjust your attitude to slow down, pay more attention, look for the crew members and get out of the hurry-up mode.
10. Fatigued semi-truck drivers – truck drivers are being used by transport companies to fill-out phony logs and we all know it. They will deny it and say I don’t know what I’m talking about. When the truckers are in an accident, and this doesn’t apply to them all, many have phony log books that cover for the company they work for. If you want to keep your job as a truck driver you have to make the delivery on time or else it’s see-ya-time.
Here in Iowa we don’t have a tourism industry like they do in Florida but people still travel through Iowa on I-35 to visit Prairie Meadows to gamble, the Iowa Barnstormers, and the Iowa Cubs, on their way to Ames to see ISU play or on their way to Iowa City to see the Hawkeye football teams. They travel to attend schools at the major colleges like the University of Iowa, Iowa State University, Northern Iowa, Drake University, Des Moines University Medical School, Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport or Kirkwood in Cedar Rapids. People travel to all the major hospital systems like Iowa Health, Mercy Medical Center, McFarland Clinic or the University Hospitals and Clinics. And of course 1 million people travel into central Iowa every year to visit the Iowa State Fair. To visit family, friends or to just attend the Des Moines Metro Opera there are as many reasons to travel as there are people.
Be careful when you travel and pay attention. The life you save may be your own. And if you’re in an accident while in Iowa, even if you’ve traveled from one of our sister states call the Lombardi Law Firm for assistance. We are happy to work with your attorney from your home state.
And for fun today, here’s the Husband Calling Contest, which I’ve never seen or heard!
Series on I-35 (I-80) Travel from Texas to Minnesota
Steve Lombardi, 4200 Corporate Drive, Suite 112, West Des Moines, Iowa 50266
Tel: 515-222-1110 Fax: 515-222-0718 Email: [email protected]
Noble McIntyre, 1300 S. Meridian Ave. Suite 501, Oklahoma city, OK. 73108 | ph: 405-917-5200
Jeremy Thurman, 1300 S. Meridian Ave. Suite 501, Oklahoma city, OK. 73108 | ph: 405-917-5200
Schuelke, C Brooks, 1717 W 6th St # 375, Austin, TX (512) 476-4944
Mike Bryant, 1505 Division Street | Waite Park, Minnesota 56387 | T: 320.259.5414 | F: 320.259.5438