Every day we take a risk by getting in our vehicle and driving. Whether it is a small bumper to bumper or a roll-over accident, the risks of being on the road will be ever present. Thankfully, there are several public officials and programs working diligently to better our roadways. While our interstate, highway and rural areas are consistently being discussed, the topic of safety seems to be at the forefront of the discussion.
A consistent and heavy conversation across the nation has been focused on the safety of the trucking industry. Georgia, in particular, is taking an even greater stance on this subject with a law that could impact millions of people. Georgia transportation officials have been busy at work trying to map-out a way for semi-trucks to have their own lane between Macon and Atlanta’s southern suburbs—also known as Interstate 75. The influx of work in the shipping port of Savannah means an increase in the number of trucks on Georgia highways. The initiative for lanes dedicated to semi-trucks is to ease congestion and decrease the number of trucking-car accidents in the state.
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The National Highway Safety Transportation Administration (NHTSA) states that in 2014, 85 percent of the large trucks involved in fatal traffic crashes were heavy large trucks (GVWR > 26,000 lbs.). In 2014 there were 3,903 people killed and an estimated 111,000 people injured in crashes involving large trucks. In the United States, an estimated 438,000 large trucks were involved in police-reported traffic crashes during 2014.
While this would be an estimated 2 billion dollar project for the state of Georgia, Governor Deal and many other constituents are hoping that this law passes. The idea offers a physical barrier to separate truckers from passenger vehicles as they drive on Interstate 75 from Macon up to Georgia 155 (or right outside of McDonough, GA). This idea isn’t unique to Georgia as many other states are having similar discussions about transportation safety. However, Georgia is one of the more proactive states with aggressive plans, over the next ten (10) years, to help reduce the high number of trucking accidents and traffic jams caused by tractor-trailers.
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If you feel this particular law would help our roadways and keep your commute safer, please contact your local legislator. Whether you are a driver or passenger, it is critical to pay attention to the number of large trucks around you. Always take a second look and never drive in a truck’s blind spot or follow too closely behind a tractor-trailer.