South Yorkshire Police say investigations are continuing into the early morning collision which involved four vehicles.
Traffic officers are now appealing for witnesses and dashcam footage following the collision.
A spokesman said: “At about 6.30am this morning, emergency services were called to the southbound carriageway of the M1, following a collision between junctions 31 and 32.
“It is reported that a black Vauxhall Corsa, being driven by a 43-year-old woman, was involved in a collision with a maroon DAF HGV.
“As a result of the collision, the Corsa is said to have collided with the central barrier and a subsequent collision between the car, a yellow Volvo HGV and a silver Renault Trafic occurred.
“The 43-year-old woman was taken to hospital, where she currently remains with life-threatening injuries. No one else was injured.”
The road has been closed virtually all day but is expected to re-open shortly.
The spokesman added: “We would like to thank drivers for their patience.”
The road has been closed between junctions 31 and 32 with drivers unable to join the southbound carriageway for the M1 from the M18.
Anyone who saw what happened, or who has dashcam footage which could assist the inquiry, is asked to please call 101 quoting incident number 115 of 5 February 2020. You can submit dashcam footage via email to [email protected]