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Planned Georgia highway for big-rig trucks may improve safety

Federal, state and municipal officials continue to focus on ways to minimize congestion and improve traffic safety, including methods toward dealing with large trucks and the drastic mishaps they may cause. In Georgia, plans are three years away for the construction of the nation’s first highway devoted to trucks.

A 41-mile stretch along Interstate 75 North from McDonough to Macon represents an ambitious project. The planned highway is reserved for large semi-trucks as well as smaller commercial trucks. The target completion date for the estimated $2 billion project is 2028. Will this project minimize accidents? Will motorists feel safer knowing that they may no longer have to share the road with large trucks?

Recent Georgia truck accident statistics

To understand how significant projects like these are, we should take a look at how many fatal truck crashes have occurred within the state. A total of 193 fatal accidents involving large trucks occurred in Georgia in 2018, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA). That number accounted for nearly 9% of the entire 2,165 fatal motor vehicle accidents that took place in the state that year. In all, 187 people died in large truck accidents in Georgia in 2018.

In that same time frame, the NHTSA disclosed that throughout the country nearly 151,000 people sustained injuries and close to 5,000 people died in large truck accidents in 2018.

Time and time again, people who survive such crashes sustain catastrophic and debilitating injuries, including fractures, loss of limbs, spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injury. This leads to lifelong challenges such as living with a disability, ongoing physical and mental therapy, costly medical bills and the possibility of never being able to work again.

Upon completion of the I-75 North highway project, there may be a good chance fewer accidents involving large trucks will occur. However, drivers should still remain cautious on the road and know what legal options are available in the event they or a loved one are injured in a truck accident.