Truck-only highway project in Georgia may have a safety impact

| Apr 1, 2021 | Trucking |

The aftermath of a large truck wreck, sometimes, is permanently etched in a person’s mind. The wreckage, the damage and the spillage along highways and roads are just the beginning. And the most startling are the lives affected of not just the drivers, but also their families. It is a sight no one wants to see, and no one wants to remember. Serious and catastrophic injuries are synonymous with big-rig truck wrecks, and so are fatalities.

Georgia has taken a step toward attempting to curb the number of such wrecks with what is considered the country’s first highway dedicated to only trucks. Construction is set to begin in two years along Interstate 75 North (I-75)  on a 41-mile stretch from McDonough to Macon devoted to large trucks and smaller commercial trucks. For one thing, the $2 billion project is likely to minimize congestion. But will it help reduce truck wrecks? Maybe.

Stretch on I-75 set for completion in 2028

Numerous large, freight-hauling trucks weighing several tons are ubiquitous on Georgia roads. The trucking industry and public safety sector welcome the news of the planned highway along I-75 North, set for completion in 2028.

Let us look at some of the most recent statistics pertaining to large truck wrecks in Georgia. The National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) reported 193 fatal wrecks involved large trucks in the state in 2018. In those wrecks, 187 people died. Those fatal truck wrecks represented nearly 9% of the total 2,165 fatal motor vehicle wrecks in Georgia during that year.

The chances of surviving a wreck with a large truck are not in favor of most motorists. It can be a head-on collision, an underride wreck or any type of situation that, if not fatal, leads to permanent disabilities. Those injuries run the gamut from spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries to fractures and amputations.

In these situations, negligence often falls on truck drivers, trucking companies and the third parties they rely on to load and repair their fleets.

Will safety get a significant boost pending the I-75 North project in Georgia? Perhaps. Motorists will continue to share the roads with large trucks, and this project holds a possible solution that points to safer roads.