Busy traffic on Tennessee interstates can create all sorts of opportunities for an auto collision with a big semi truck. Work areas in particular may cause additional challenges for large trucks. In fact, Fleet Owner points out that a truck accident causing a fatality happens once about every three days in the United States.
Additional statistics from the Federal Highway Administration paint a troubling picture. 47% of fatal accidents in work zones occur due to the involvement of big trucks. In 49% of those fatal crashes, the truck driver had hit an obstacle or a person in front of them. There are a number of reasons why large trucks are at a high crash risk while navigating through a work zone.
The size of the truck
A major issue with work zones is their constricting natures. Traffic cones or barriers often block off one or more lanes, forcing traffic to merge into one lane. The lanes that remain open may also shrink in size. Drivers should also be on guard for nearby construction equipment and the presence of workers.
All of this presents a challenge to big trucks. A truck driver that does not proceed with caution could hit another vehicle, a road zone worker or a piece of work equipment. Even merging into another lane can be a problem. If a truck driver waits too long to merge into a lane, the truck may catch another vehicle in its blind spot and collide with it.
Truck driver impatience
Driving through a work area can feel like an ordeal if a driver feels pressed for time. Truck drivers may have a work assignment to complete and can feel impatient if they have to slow down and wait to get through a work area. This might lead to aggressive driving or inadequate attention to work area signs, traffic cones or nearby workers.
Closed distance between vehicles
As FMCSA points out, rear end collisions happen very frequently in work zones. Truck drivers accustomed to driving at higher speeds on highways may misjudge how far they can travel after applying the brakes before they come to a complete stop. The sudden merging of another vehicle from a nearby lane may also result in a rear end collision.