The 2019 National Work Zone Awareness Week happened just a few weeks ago in mid-April. This is an annual occasion when the Federal Highway Administration calls for safer driving, safer work zones.

The mission of the week deserves our attention.

“Safety is everyone’s responsibility, so please focus 100 percent on driving, be sober, be considerate of road workers and other road users and, please, obey the posted speed limits,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao in commemorating the week.

“As the weather gets warmer, more and more highway workers are heading outdoors to improve our roads and keep us moving. We all need to do our part and drive carefully, so that we can help keep everyone safe wherever construction is under way.”

The campaign’s theme, “Drive Like You Work Here,” underscores the importance of drivers staying alert and making safety a priority while driving through work zones. In 2017, the most recent year for which data is available, there were 799 fatalities in work zones, which is a two-percent increase from the previous year.

Fatal work zone crashes involving large trucks or buses increased from 189 in 2016 to 222 in 2017. Speed was a factor in 29 percent of fatal work zone crashes that year, and 80 percent of work zone crash victims were drivers or passengers – not highway workers.

Part of the problem involving big trucks is that there are too many operators that drive impaired, drive too fast for conditions, or ignore posted warnings to slow down in work zones. Let us reiterate that most truckers are good, responsible drivers. However, it’s the minority that cause the biggest problems.

Regarding speed, for example, the stopping distance required for a large truck traveling at 55 mph is almost 50 percent greater than that needed for a car. These estimates are for 80,000 pound loaded, tractor-trailers and mid-size passenger cars traveling on a dry, level road, says the National Safety Council. Frequent rainy conditions this time of year increase the time.

It’s easy to understand how big trucks almost always win when it comes to an accident in a work zone or a collision with a car or motorcycle.

The attorneys at Tauber Law Offices have decades of experience in defending victims of big truck crashes.  As we have stated before, we are very close to one of the most dangerous corridors for big truck crashes on I-65, so we’re well aware of the risks involved.

These big truck crashes are bound to go up in the spring and summer as warmer temperatures and rainy conditions contribute to these tragedies.

If you are a victim of a big truck crash, please contact Tauber Law Offices right away. We never charge anything until your case is resolved in your favor.

Photo courtesy: Federal Highway Administration