Truck accidents are a huge area of concern across the United States. Exhausted drivers have experienced rollovers, jackknifed across the highway and caused pileups, or lost control of vehicles during inclement weather. These collisions cause unmatched devastation, and victims are often left scrambling trying to figure out how to cover their accident-related expenses. However, it’s not just a matter of drivers preventing accidents—road design and infrastructure also play a key part in accident prevention.
Have you been hurt in a truck accident? If so, you could be entitled to compensation. Learn more now by calling Bailey Javins & Carter at 800-497-0234.
Important Elements of Road Design
There are numerous ways that municipal planners can ensure that roads promote truck safety. Lane width is a key consideration—narrow lanes are hard enough for passenger vehicle drivers to navigate, and they’re nearly impossible for truck drivers. Spacious lanes make navigation and turning much easier for truck drivers.
Roads should also have wide shoulders that allow truck drivers to pull over when they have a maintenance emergency or a load shift. Highways with narrow or nonexistent shoulders create a dangerous situation for everyone on the road; if a truck driver truly cannot wait until an exit to stop, they are forced to stop in the lane furthest to the right. This blocks off an entire lane and forces drivers to reroute, which leads to traffic buildup and increases the likelihood of an accident.
Road planners should consider the larger size of trucks when developing a road’s grade and curve. A steep road can be a breeze for a passenger vehicle to use, but trucks have a much harder time going down steep roads. Their larger mass causes them to pick up more speed, putting drivers at risk of losing control and causing accidents.
Road curves determine how easily a truck driver can switch lanes or turn. Sharp turns are very difficult for even the most experienced truck drivers to handle, so wider curves are much safer.
How Proper Infrastructure Can Prevent Accidents
Road infrastructure that keeps all vehicles in mind isn’t just good for truck drivers—it makes the roads safer for everyone. Sign usage is a big part of the infrastructure. Drivers should be able to see height and weight restrictions before going on a bridge or under an underpass. If a road has sharp curves, signs should be placed well in advance of the curve, so truck drivers have ample time to slow down.
Rest stop placement should be a priority for roads that are heavily traveled by truck drivers. The longer a truck driver has to go without a break, the more likely they are to become fatigued and cause a collision. Proper rest stop placement will take into account the level of truck traffic and the availability of truck stops in the surrounding area.
Proper lighting is important on all roads, but it’s particularly important on roads where truck traffic is common. Truck drivers may have to drive early in the morning or late at night to meet deadlines. These are the times when fatigued driving crashes are most likely. Sufficient lighting can help drivers stay awake. Additionally, it can help truck drivers see much smaller vehicles and avoid collisions.
Finally, all roads should have a realistic and safety-focused road maintenance schedule. Roads that are cracked or buckling are uncomfortable at best. At worst, they can cause an unbalanced truck to roll over and cause a pileup. Tractor-trailers take a heavy toll on the road, and those roads that are main routes for trucks may need more frequent and intensive maintenance than other roads. As a result, everyone enjoys a lower risk of accidents and a much smoother driving experience.
Explore Your Legal Options with the Team at Bailey Javins & Carter
If you have been hurt in a car accident, use this opportunity to find out if you are owed compensation. The team at Bailey Javins & Carter can help with your Charleston truck accident claim. To schedule your free consultation, fill out our or call our team at 800-497-0234. Don’t wait too long—you have a limited amount of time in which you can start a claim.