Spring marks the start of warmer weather and construction season. This is a perilous time for drivers who face a greater chance of being hit by truckers not practicing safe driving in construction zones.
Congested traffic, speed limit changes, workers entering the roadways, narrower roads, lane changes, and lane closures are some of the reasons wrecks occur frequently in work zones. According to the Federal Highway Administration, trucks play a big role in causing these wrecks. Almost 30 percent of construction-zone wrecks involve big trucks and over 1,000 fatalities and 18,000 injuries have been caused by truck crashes in the last five years.
How Truckers Put You At Risk for a Crash
Angle, rear-end collisions, and head-on collisions are the most prevalent types of truck crashes in construction zones. The ten most common reasons truckers cause these deadly crashes are:
- Not expecting the unexpected. Speed limit reductions, lane changes, and workers entering the roadway for work zones can happen at any time of the day or night and may occur suddenly. An inattentive or tired trucker can easily cause a crash—injuring or killing other motorists.
- Speeding. Speeding is the number one cause of collisions in work zones. Collisions with speeding trucks can result in life-threatening injuries—like traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injuries, and internal organ damage.
- Being too close to construction workers and equipment. Barrels and barriers can make the road very narrow, and a trucker must concentrate even more to stay in the lane and away from construction workers, their equipment, and other drivers. When they don’t, the result can spell disaster for motorists and construction workers.
- Tailgating. It takes big commercial trucks longer to stop than other vehicles, so it is critical that a trucker maintain a safe distance between his truck and the vehicle in front of him in construction areas. If he fails to do so, he risks rear-ending the vehicle and causing serious injuries to the occupants.
- Not paying attention to signs. Truckers need to pay attention to the warning signs, which are there to keep the work zone safe—even when workers are not present.
- Not obeying road work flaggers. These workers direct traffic safely, and a trucker not obeying them risks injuring them and other motorists.
- Driving distractedly. Eating, talking on a cell phone, and texting while driving can always result in crashes. It’s even more deadly to do so in a construction zone.
- Not merging early enough. Truckers trying to barge in at the end of a lane merge can cause bottlenecks and crashes. It is extremely important that truckers merge well in advance of a lane closure to avoid a crash.
- Not doing an adequate pre-trip. This involves checking the travel route in advance to ensure there is sufficient time to safely complete the trip within the time allotted. When truckers don’t do this, they are more likely to get behind schedule and then speed and engage in other unsafe practices in work zones.
- Not staying patient and calm. Truckers who are impatient—maybe because they are behind schedule—can speed, tailgate, and merge at the last minute, increasing the risk they will cause a crash.
If you were injured in a crash with a truck driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. It is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible to improve your chances of getting a higher award. Call us at (817) 380-4888 for a free consultation by a member of our experienced and compassionate legal team.