According to statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System, there were an astounding 3,660 truck accident fatalities in 2014, the most recent year for which complete data is available. Breaking these numbers down further, the DOT found that 68 percent of these fatalities were occupants of passenger vehicles, and another 15 were percent motorcyclists, bicyclists or pedestrians.
In light of truly staggering numbers like these, questions naturally start to arise as to what, if anything, can be done to make the nation’s highways safer. Interestingly enough, a potential solution might be emerging right here in Georgia.
Officials with the state Department of Transportation are now moving toward constructing dedicated truck lanes between Macon and Atlanta’s southern suburbs.
Specifically, the proposed dedicated truck lanes, which would be separated by a physical barrier, would run along the inside median of Interstate 75 from Macon up to at least Georgia 155 outside of McDonough.
While one of the primary objectives for constructing these dedicated lanes is to help reduce congestion caused by both the expansion of the port of Savannah and population growth along this corridor, officials have also spoken eagerly of the improved highway safety that would likely result from separating trucks from cars and motorcycles.
Somewhat surprisingly, the idea of dedicated truck lanes is far from novel. Indeed, it’s an idea that many other states have explored over the years yet ultimately abandoned due to concerns over both cost and overall need.
At the moment, however, it appears as if the DOT is poised to make these dedicated lanes, a first-of-their kind reality here in Georgia within the next decade. The only real hurdle at this juncture appears to be scheduling the massive undertaking and shoring up funding for the $2 billion project, which would come largely from a fuel tax increase.
It’s highly encouraging to see our state taking the initiative in creating safer highways for all motorists.
If you been seriously injured or lost a loved one in a truck accident caused by the negligence of a driver or trucking company, consider speaking with a skilled legal professional as soon as possible.