Safety Tips for Trucks in Construction Zones
Close to 200 fatal truck accidents occur in construction work zones each year in the United States. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) claims that 4,400 people have died and another 200,000 were injured in motor vehicle accidents in construction work zones over the past five years. Almost half of all construction work zone accident fatalities involve trucks.
Irregular traffic patterns and narrow lanes challenge many truck drivers as they navigate through cattle shoots and congested construction work zones. Motorists in passenger cars frequently change lanes or speed through these areas. Rear-end collisions between trucks and cars are common accidents in these work zones.
Distracted Driving Causes Serious and Fatal Truck Accidents
One of the major causes of construction work zone accidents involve distracted driving. When drivers choose to use their cell phone, text, engage with onboard navigation devices, or take their eyes off the road in front of them in a construction work zone, serious accidents can happen.
Cell phones, eating, drinking, onboard navigation systems, music players, and even reaching for an object require a driver to divert their attention from the road in front of them. It takes an average of five seconds to send a text message. Those five seconds is equivalent to a truck driver driving the length of a football field at 55 miles per hour blindfolded.
Congestion in construction work zone areas is often heavy as cars and trucks are required to reduce their speed. There is little room for error when navigating through narrow lanes and re-routed traffic. Distracted truck drivers often cause accidents that involve multiple vehicles, pedestrians, and construction workers.
Preventing Truck Accidents in Construction Work Zone Areas
The majority of truck accidents that occur in construction work zone areas can be prevented. The FHWA suggests the following:
- Heed Warnings Posted in Work Zones: Construction companies post warning signs prior to entering construction work zones alerting drivers of changes in traffic patterns, reduced speed limits, and hazardous conditions ahead.
- Keep a Safe Distance from the Vehicle in Front of You: Work zone area traffic can get congested as speed limits decrease. Be sure to keep a safe distance between trucks and cars to allow for sudden stops or lane switching.
- Look Ahead: While it is important to keep your eyes on the road in front of you, it is also important to keep your eyes on the road ahead. Being aware of impending changes in traffic patterns or reduced speeds can limit unexpected obstacles.
- Merge Safely: Use signals and check all lanes in front, behind, and on either side before switching lanes.
- Leave Space between Vehicles and Construction Work Zones: Be aware of construction cones and dividers that separate trucks and cars from construction workers. Many construction workers lose their lives each year when they are struck by passing trucks and cars.
New Brunswick Truck Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Represent Victims of Truck Accidents
If you have been injured in a truck accident, call the New Brunswick truck accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr at 877-249-4600 or 732-249-4600, or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today. Our Highland Park, New Jersey offices serve clients in New Brunswick, Somerset, Piscataway, Edison, South River, Sayreville, Metuchen, East Brunswick, South Plainfield, Fords, Middlesex, Old Bridge, Iselin, Bound Brook, Perth Amboy, and Colonia.