Iowa’s roads see high volumes of semi-truck traffic transporting goods across the state and beyond. But some roads stand out for having particularly high rates of truck accidents due to dangerous driving conditions or other risk factors. These truck accident hot spots can result in more crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving semi-trucks.
To bring awareness to Iowa’s most hazardous roads for semi-trucks, we examined data on truck crashes over recent years. Factors considered included total crashes, injury, and fatal crashes, contributing circumstances like weather or road conditions, and more. Here, our Des Moines personal injury lawyer highlights seven trouble spots that emerge as hot spots based on high crash rates, risks to truck drivers, and dangers to the traveling public.
1. I-80 Through Davenport
The section of Interstate 80 winding through the Davenport area sees very heavy semi-traffic yet suffers from poor visibility and tight curves. These conditions spell danger, with over 100 truck crashes annually, including some fatalities. Sudden slowdowns also plague the congested lanes. And with other vehicles darting on and off the freeway, truckers must remain alert.
2. Highway 20 Near Waterloo
A 10-mile stretch of Highway 20 between Waterloo and Cedar Falls ranks as an accident-prone zone for the many semis traveling east-west across the state. Narrow lanes, construction zones, and hilly terrain contributing to slick roads in poor weather all endanger trucks. Rear-end crashes account for many of the incidents.
3. I-35 Through Ames
The section of Interstate 35, running just north of Ames, sees accidents occurring at nearly triple the statewide rate, especially during winter. Blowing snow can create whiteout conditions. And the area’s high volume of truck traffic combined with plenty of passenger vehicles exiting and entering increases crash risks significantly.
4. Highway 30 From Clinton to DeWitt
Highway 30, connecting the population hubs of Clinton and DeWitt, carries major truck traffic despite roads not designed for larger vehicles. With narrow lanes, limited shoulders, and many side streets and cross traffic intersecting the route, semi-truck drivers must remain exceptionally alert. But driver distraction still contributes to frequent crashes.
5. I-29 Near Onawa
A 12-mile stretch of I-29 south of Onawa accounts for a spike in truck accidents annually. With space at a premium between the freeway and adjacent Missouri River, guardrails stand mere feet from the travel lanes. So, any loss of control sends trucks over the edge. And high winds often pummel trucks traversing this portion of I-29 as well.
6. Highway 61 into Muscatine
The steep downhill grade along Highway 61 leading into Muscatine has trucks barreling downward fast. Those needing to suddenly brake for slowing vehicles, traffic signals, or pedestrians fill emergency rooms regularly. Younger drivers unfamiliar with maintaining control of their rig on sharp declines play a role in many crashes.
7. Highway 20 Near Rockwell City
The intersection of Highways 4 and 20 near Rockwell City has a troubling history of right-angle semi-truck collisions. Traffic lights were installed to cut down on risks from crossing vehicles. But locals report frequent light runners jeopardizing themselves and truckers. Add in winter whiteouts, and this junction still sees vehicles smashing into truck sides regularly.
Iowa’s countryside depends on semi-trucks delivering goods across the state safely. But clearly, some roads pose heightened risks due to design flaws, weather factors, congestion, and more. Now armed with knowledge of seven top hot spots endangering truckers, we can press transportation departments to explore fixes.
Unfortunately, until these alterations are made, we will continue to see accidents on these roads. If you’ve been injured on one of the roads listed above, or another road in Iowa, contact our experienced team of lawyers at Monge & Associates. We will do everything in our power to help you get the compensation you deserve. Visit us today at one of our offices or contact us free on (888) 477-0597. We have 32 offices across 19 locations, including seven offices in Georgia, two in Tennessee, and one in Iowa.