If you've driven from Cumming down to Savannah, you've likely taken Interstate 16. What you may not have known is that it's considered one of the deadliest roads in the state.
Last year, 28 people were killed on I-16. Tractor-trailers were involved in 18 of the accidents on the 166 miles of road. Among those were five nursing students from Georgia Southern University who were killed when a tractor-trailer driver failed to stop for slowed traffic.
The Georgia Department of Transportation has announced plans to improve safety on several areas of the interstate by widening sections, adding lanes solely for tractor-trailers and installing median cable barriers to help prevent vehicles from veering over into oncoming traffic. However, according to a recent investigative report by Atlanta's Channel 11, the areas earmarked for improvement are not where most of the fatal crashes over the past two years have occurred. The GDOT says it's focusing on where the worst congestion is.
The brother of a woman who was killed by another tractor-trailer that failed to stop said, "From 280 into Savannah it's really bad, really bad" when it comes to traffic jams. However, none of the money for added tractor-trailer lanes has been earmarked for that area, despite the fact that the expanding port is expected to double the amount of traffic on that section of the interstate.
Infrastructure issues aren't the sole culprit when it comes to traffic fatalities. The investigative report noted the lack of trucking compliance officers -- the people who inspect trucks and enforce trucking laws.
The federal government has been seeking ways to make large trucks safer on the nation's roadways, such as limiting their speed. Of course, other proposals are aimed at disincentivizing dangerous driver behavior like driving for longer than they can safely do so. Some drivers are paid by the mile, which can prompt them to continue to drive when they should rest or call it a day.
Truck accidents can cause devastating and often fatal injuries. If you are a victim or surviving loved one of a victim, you may have multiple sources for needed compensation. These may include the trucking company, the company that employed the trucking company and the driver him- or herself. An experienced Georgia personal injury attorney can help determine who can and should be help responsible.
Source: NBC 11 Alive, "Deadly route: 166 miles of danger," Rebecca Lindstrom, Jessica Noll, Nov. 09, 2016