Construction Zone Safety for TrucksMay 9, 2019
For truck drivers, driving through construction zones can feel like navigating through an obstacle course. Speed limit reductions, narrowed lanes, slow and halted traffic, shifting lanes, merges, and flaggers all create unexpected traffic patterns. This can even make it difficult enough for small vehicles. Larger sized vehicles come with longer stopping distances, so they may not be able to slow down or stop in time to avoid an accident. In fact, stopping distances for large trucks driving 55 miles per hour are 50 percent longer than that of cars.
The Federal Highway Administration found close to one-third of all work zone accidents involve large trucks. Over the past five years, there have been more than 18,000 injuries and more than 1,000 deaths attributed to these crashes. The three most common types of large truck accidents in work zones are head-on, rear-end, and angle collisions.
The data shows that there are 133 fatal work zone crashes with large trucks every year. About 90 percent of these happen on straight roads, 70 percent are on level roads, and 60 percent take place on divided roadways. Sixty-five percent of fatal accidents happen during the daytime, and the majority occur on weekdays when compared to weekends. Large trucks can collide with cars in work zones, and up to one-third of accidents happen in No-Zones, which are the danger areas surrounding trucks. These happen because truck drivers may not be able to see cars in their blind spots.
Approaching a Work Zone
Truckers that are coming up to work zones need to slow down and think carefully. If possible, an alternate route should be taken. If this is not possible, truck drivers should read the signs and follow their directions. Flaggers should be given room and their instructions should also be followed. Merge areas can be tricky, so truck drivers need to be in the correct lane ahead of time, before other lanes are closed off. They should also leave adequate space when following other vehicles to allow for extra stopping distance and blind spots.
Since truck drivers sit up higher than other motorists, they can see the traffic pattern ahead. Being courteous to flaggers and construction workers is a common courtesy that can save lives. Having to adhere to merges and other traffic patterns plus congestion can be frustrating, but it is important to be patient in the name of safety.
Baltimore Truck Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Help Truck Accident Victims
Driving a truck requires skill and patience, but accidents can occur on roads and in construction zones. If you suffered injuries in a truck accident, contact the skilled Baltimore truck accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton for professional legal guidance. Call us at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online for a free consultation today.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent truck accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.