Since 2010, roughly one-fifth of all pedestrian fatalities in Louisville have taken place on the Dixie Highway. This is troubling news for walkers and bikers in the area, especially as recent reports indicate that pedestrian deaths are on the rise.
Likewise, pedestrian injuries are increasing in Kentucky-there are hundreds of them each year-and, once again, the Dixie Highway is the most dangerous spot. For years, the local government has floated plans to improve safety along the Dixie, but the effect has been minimal.
And in any case, for victims and their families the most pressing issue is not making the highway safer. Rather, the primary concern is obtaining financial compensation from the liable party, to pay for medical costs, emotional duress, and related expenses.
Who's at fault? And what does this mean for accident victims?
It is no secret why the Dixie Highway is so dangerous. At some points there are six lanes in each direction. Drivers are notorious for driving in the median for unusually long stretches of time. It is a major trucking thoroughfare. The potential for serious accidents is high.
In most cases, the drivers themselves are culpable, and their insurance companies will compensate victims. But at times there are other factors in play. Truckers, couriers, and other professional drivers are often forced into dangerous driving habits by the stressful nature of their jobs. In such circumstances, the company they work for may ultimately be responsible for victims' injuries-drivers from Advance Ready Mix, for example, have been involved in multiple accidents in recent years.
Surprisingly, in some circumstances, the very attempt to make the Dixie Highway safer can result in more danger. Namely, highway construction sites are often the site of serious accidents. They are poorly marked or improperly maintained, leading drivers to crash. In select scenarios, the government itself may be at fault.
How to get the compensation you need
Even if the responsible party is identified, it can be difficult to obtain the compensation you and your loved ones require. Many find that working with an attorney is the only way to get their fair due.
Kentucky will continue to increase funding for highway improvements and increased police presence along the Dixie. But if past efforts serve as evidence, and current accident trends continue, then it is largely up to pedestrians to make sure they stay safe.