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Rollover alleys: 5 Interstate stretches that pose greatest risk

2 in West Virginia, 2 in Georgia, 1 in Tennessee

(Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Because of their design, tractor-trailers roll over more often than other vehicles. They have a higher center of gravity, as well as more weight that might not be evenly distributed.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, nearly half of all fatal large-truck accidents in 2019 resulted from rollovers, which the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration says kill hundreds of truckers each year.

Based on data from Lytx, a trucking telematics company, these are the five places where truckers are most likely to experience a rollover at speeds of 40 mph or greater resulting from weather, cornering too fast and other factors. Rollover probability was calculated based on sensors in trucks detecting the physics of the vehicles that may lead to rollovers.

I-64/I-77, Giles to Dawes, West Virginia

A stretch of the West Virginia Turnpike (Interstates 64/77) less than 1 mile long is where truckers run the highest risk of rollovers. This area between the small towns of Giles and Dawes is a little more than 20 miles south of the state capital of Charleston.

I-85 at I-285, northeastern Atlanta

Known as “Spaghetti Junction,” the Tom Moreland Interchange in northeastern Atlanta has the second-highest chance of large commercial truck rollovers. This is at the intersection of Interstates 85 and 285, along with several access roads. Spaghetti Junction is a five-level stack interchange that handles about 300,000 vehicles a day, according to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and has 14 bridges.

I-40 at I-65, western Nashville

Just a few miles from Vanderbilt University lies the third-likeliest place for tractor-trailer rollovers. It’s where Interstate 40 intersects Interstate 65 on the western side of Nashville. One of the busiest freight lanes in the country, I-40 carries at least 8,500 trucks a day from coast to coast, according to the FHWA.

I-64, Nuckolls to Whittaker, West Virginia

Fourth on the list of high rollover risk for big rigs is another short stretch of highway in West Virginia, only 10 miles from the I-64/I-77 danger zone noted above. It runs for about 1.5 miles on Interstate 64 between the small towns of Whittaker and Nuckolls, almost 30 miles south of Charleston.

I-75 at I-285, northwestern Atlanta

Known as the Cobb Cloverleaf, the intersection of Interstates 75 and 285 in northwestern Atlanta round out the five places truckers are most prone to rollovers. It’s in Cobb County, just a stone’s throw from Truist Park, home of the Braves major leagues baseball team. Despite its nickname, the interchange has only two cloverleaf-style ramps. The Georgia Department of Transportation has posted signage on I-75 referring to the interchange by its official name, the Emory Parrish Interchange.

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Nick Austin.

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Nick Austin

Nick is a meteorologist with 20 years of forecasting and broadcasting experience. He was nominated for a Midsouth Emmy for his coverage during a 2008 western Tennessee tornado outbreak. He received his Bachelor of Science in Meteorology from Florida State University, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Management from the Georgia Tech. Nick is a member of the American Meteorological Society and National Weather Association. As a member of the weather team at WBBJ-TV in Jackson, Tennessee, Nick was nominated for a Mid-South Emmy for live coverage of a major tornado outbreak in February 2008. As part of the weather team at WRCB-TV in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Nick shared the Chattanooga Times-Free Press Best of the Best award for “Best Weather Team” eight consecutive years.