Can the percentage of truck accidents in and around Cape Girardeau and Popular Bluff as well as other parts of Southeast Missouri be reduced? Missouri Department of Transportation (Mo-DOT) hopes so. They are changing the length of yellow lights at some traffic signals through-out the state and will complete this project by the end of the year.
The Southeast Missourian reports that the increase will range from tenths of a second to 1.6 seconds. Studies show that the length of the yellow light will allow for vehicle stopping distances at traffic signals. The Missouri Department of Transportation is implementing this change in the hopes of reducing traffic accidents. The greatest impact will be on those vehicles with the longest stopping distances, big trucks. And this should have a positive result in regards to reducing truck accidents. This move was made after a national study and the changes began earlier this year in the St. Louis area.
While truck accidents account for a small percentage of accidents annually, truck accidents tend to have a higher severity of injury and property damage and often result in greater numbers of fatalities. If you have been involved in a truck accident, contact Cape Girardeau accident lawyers for assistance in this special type of accident situation.
The very size of a truck contributes to severity in traffic accidents. Not only are they heavy but they are hard to maneuver. The larger and heavier the vehicle, the longer it takes to stop, the farther it will skid, the greater the impact damage, and the higher the probability it will over-turn or jump a barrier. A fully loaded semi-tractor trailer can weigh 80,000 lbs. By increasing the length of a yellow light, it is hoped that drivers will have longer to react and have an increased ability to stop safely. This alone should help prevent more truck accidents at intersections.
Truck accidents include tractor trailers, semi-trucks, small trucks, and 18-wheelers, which are all designed to transport freight. The number of trucks on our roads and highways is indicative of their importance to our economy but also makes the probability of a traffic accident higher. Many truck drivers are under strict time constraints and are on the road for long hours at a time. They are often fatigued and stressed. This combined with the dangerous nature of intersections as well as heavy traffic congestion creates a formula for injury and even death.
No matter what your situation, a Southeast Missouri accident attorney will help you sort it out and make the best of a difficult situation. And remember to always enter an intersection aware of the possible dangers. Be alert to light changes, traffic congestion, and the very real fact that drivers run red lights and they do so at higher rates of speed. Most importantly, remember that the larger the vehicle the longer it takes to stop and the less able it is to maneuver in time.
To find out more of what Mo-DOT has planned for our roads and highways check out their News & Information page.