The Dangers of Highway 14
While every road poses dangers for drivers, Highway 14 in Minnesota is known to be particularly hazardous when it comes to truck accidents. The injury and fatality rate for truck accidents on highway 14 is higher than it should be, despite efforts to increase safety. At Knutson+Casey, we want to discuss the crash rates on Highway 14, how the road’s design affects safety, and what efforts are being made to improve the situation.
Crash & Fatality Rates on Highway 14
According to statistics, the statewide fatal and serious crash rate was 1.4 per year (per 100,000 people) from 2009 to 2018. During that same time period, the fatal and serious crash rate of Highway 14 was 3.04, more than twice the statewide rate.
The Minnesota Senate Bonding Committee discussed Highway 14 safety last year, and one statement that came out of a committee meeting from Sen. Gary Dahms, R-Redwood Falls, was “If we take a look at how Highway 14 ranks in the state as far as percentage of vehicles that are truck traffic versus automobile traffic, it is quite a high percentage.”
Large commercial trucks present enough risks on the roadway without needing the added dangers of an unsafe highway. However, Highway 14 is a highly populated corridor, with more than 300,000 people working or living near the highway. There is heavy freight traffic, and the fatal crash rate on this highway is much higher than the state average.
Unsafe Road Design and Efforts to make Highway 14 Safer
New Ulm Police Chief David Borchert has his ideas of why Highway 14 is so dangerous. “Sometimes it comes down to design,” Borchert said. “I am convinced Highway 14 is dangerous.”
Specifically, the fatal crash rate on the two-lane segment of Highway 14 from North Mankato to New Ulm has been nearly double the rate for other two-lane highways across Minnesota.
Efforts to improve safety on Hwy 14 have been in the works for more than 60 years. As Minnesota Representative John Petersburg says, “It’s been a long haul.” Different parts of Hwy 14 have been finished at different times, leaving an unreliable and patchy stretch of roadway. Budgetary constraints have significantly impacted the ability to improve Highway 14 safety over the years.
According to the Minnesota Department of Transportation, a federal grant application was submitted in 2019 for $25 million in order to help create a 12.5-mile four-lane expansion of Highway 14. This would essentially create a highway bypass that would improve trucking safety and help decrease the fatality and injury rates for that roadway.
Contact a Mankato Truck Injury Lawyer Today
If you or somebody you care about has been injured due to the careless or negligent actions of a truck driver or trucking company, contact Knutson+Casey today. Our skilled and experienced truck accident team will get to work investigating your case in order to secure any compensation you may be entitled to. This can include:
- Coverage of any truck accident-related medical bills
- Any lost wages you incur
- Mental anguish damages
- Loss of personal enjoyment damages
- Possible punitive damages against the driver or trucking company
When you need a Minnesota truck accident attorney, you can contact us online or by calling (507) 344-8888. We offer free consultations.