Can SMART Reduce Serious and Fatal Crashes on I-24?
Over the years, the busy Mid-State segment of I-24 has become more dangerous to drive. The highway wasn't built to handle the high volume it now accommodates, and overburdened roads increase the risk of serious or fatal car accidents.
You don't have to look hard for examples of how dangerous this highway can be.
- In October, a Murfreesboro man died in a rear-end collision on I-24 between the Sam Ridley Parkway and Almaville Road.
- In September, a wrong-way driver died in a head-on collision with a semi-truck on I-24 near Church Street.
Getting SMART about I-24
Traffic on the Murfreesboro/Rutherford County segment of I-24 has increased by more than 60 percent since 2005. In response, Tennessee's Department of Transportation (TDOT) launched a multi-phase plan to improve this area of the highway. Work began on the "Interstate 24 SMART Corridor Project" in 2018. And there's still a lot more to do.
There are three main components to SMART:
- Use connector routes to pair I-24 with SR 1 (US 70/Murfreesboro Road) to relieve traffic congestion.
- Use technology as well as infrastructure upgrades to manage traffic better.
- Report real-time I-24 traffic conditions in a way that allows drivers to avoid traffic snarls instead of adding to them.
The Law Offices of Eric Beasley fights for accident victims' rights. We take on insurance companies to get meaningful settlements and verdicts for our clients. Many of our clients have experienced the worst of I-24. We know change is needed and hope the SMART plan works. You probably have questions if you were injured in an I-24 accident or a wreck on another Mid-State roadway. Get answers you can trust. Contact us for a free case evaluation.
What to expect
SMART differs from traditional highway safety projects that widen roads and add lanes to handle the increased traffic volume. This approach would not work well for Tennessee, TDOT says, which is why SMART is focused on technology. Phase 1 of the project was completed in December. Work on phase 2 is anticipated to end in the spring. When the work is all done, drivers may notice:
- Extended ramp length.
- Added emergency pull-offs.
- New ramp meters to count traffic for real-time data and informed decision-making.
- Added technology along SR 1 and connector routes that optimizes traffic signal timing.
Highway workers are installing 67 overhead gantries for data collection and traffic management. Gantries are expected to be operational in November and then undergo months of testing before the technology is fully integrated into TDOT.
Our Nashville car accident attorneys are here to help
No matter how careful of a driver you are, anyone can become a car accident victim. Sometimes, you can't get out of the way of a drunk driver, sleepy trucker, or someone who is texting while driving. Let a Nashville car accident lawyer take on the insurance company while you focus on healing. If you were injured or a loved one died in a Tennessee car accident, contact us for a free case evaluation today.