Interstate 40 in Cookeville Shuts Down after Multi-Vehicle Accident
A total of six vehicles were involved in an accident in the westbound lanes of Interstate 40 in Putnam County near Cookeville early Friday morning, resulting in emergency responders closing the interstate for several hours.
According to a report by the Herald-Citizen, the accident occurred at around 12:30 a.m. at mile marker 275 when a vehicle crashed into a guide wire and came to rest in the middle of the interstate. That caused a chain-reaction accident that involved five more vehicles, including two commercial vehicles.
The chain-reaction collision caused two people to suffer serious injuries, and they were transported to a local hospital to receive treatment.
In addition, another accident occurred while emergency responders had blocked the interstate, which resulted in a vehicle fire. Investigators with the Tennessee Highway Patrol say the secondary accident occurred when a vehicle that was pulling a camper stopped in traffic and was struck from behind by another car.
Both the camper and the vehicle that struck it caught on fire, and the driver of the vehicle that struck the camper was injured and transported to a local hospital.
Emergency responders reopened I-40 in Putnam County mid-morning.
What Are Common Causes of Chain-Reaction Accidents?
Accidents involving more than two vehicles aren’t as common as single or two-vehicle accidents, but when they happen, victims can suffer serious injuries—especially if their vehicles are struck more than once. Just when victims think the worst is over, they can be hit by another vehicle from a different angle, resulting in additional injuries or the exacerbation of existing injuries.
Some of the most common causes of these injury-causing accidents include the following:
- Accidents occurring in heavy traffic
When an accident occurs, the scene nearby is often chaotic. Drivers often have to swerve to avoid crashing into the vehicles that are involved in the accident, but that can also increase their risk of striking other vehicles. When traffic is heavy on highways and interstates, drivers may be unable to slow down or move out of the way in time, resulting in chain-reaction crashes.
- Vehicles remaining in the path of traffic
Even when traffic isn’t heavy, multi-vehicle accidents can occur when damaged cars, trucks, and SUVs remain in the path of oncoming traffic. Tennessee law protects drivers who move their vehicles after accidents to areas of safety, such as shoulders and medians. If you’re ever involved in an accident and no one is seriously injured, move your vehicle out of harm’s way.
- Rubbernecking and looking at the accident scene
Being curious about what happened while passing an accident scene is human nature, but it’s vital for drivers to keep their eyes and attention on the roadway. Looking at accident scenes and away from the road significantly increases the risk of another accident occurring that can also result in serious injuries for the victims of the initial accident. Instead of rubbernecking, consider pulling over to a safe location and dialing 911—especially if the accident just happened.
- Following too closely
Many chain-reaction accidents involve multiple fender benders, which are common when vehicles are following each other too closely. It’s important to leave plenty of space between your front bumper and the rear bumper of the vehicle in front of you. The more space you leave, the more time you’ll have to react to thing that happens ahead of your vehicle and the more effective your brakes will be at slowing down your vehicle.
The Cookeville auto accident attorneys at Matt Hardin Law know that multi-vehicle crashes often result in serious injuries for victims—especially when their vehicles are struck multiple times and from different directions. Knowing the common causes of these types of accidents can help drivers avoid them and avoid potentially causing them in the future.
If you or someone you know was injured in a multi-vehicle accident caused by a negligent driver, you may able to file a claim for compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Our legal team has two decades of experience fighting for the rights of injured victims like you, and we know what it takes to win. To put our experience on your side, dial (931) 754-1188 or complete a free online consultation form today.