On February 28, a 34-year-old construction worker was killed in a road construction site accident on Interstate 81 near the Morristown, Tennessee exit. Investigating state troopers indicated the accident happened when the victim stepped into the northbound lane and was struck by an oncoming semi truck.
The Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) report did not include any charges or citations, and Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) Commissioner John Schroer called the loss tragic. He went on to say this fatal truck accident is “a stark reminder of the dangers our highway construction workers face every single day while building and maintaining our transportation system.”
Our Nashville injury attorney represents victims of construction accidents and truck accidents every day, and he wishes to remind all motorists of a few essential driving tips as we enter the spring construction season to keep everyone safe.
Safety Reminders in the Wake of Tragic Trucking Accident
Drivers should always remember the “Three S’s” within construction zones – Speed, Space and Stress.
- Manage Your Speed – It is always important to follow posted speed limits, but these may be reduced temporarily within construction zones. You should begin to slow down as soon as you see the signs warning of an upcoming construction zone. Normal speed should not be resumed until after you have gone completely through the work area and see signs instructing you to do so.
- Manage Your Space – Always be sure there is a safe distance between your car and the one ahead of you, as well as other obstacles such as traffic barriers and construction equipment. When stopped, you should be able to see the bottoms of the tires on the vehicle in front of you. While traffic is moving, be sure to leave enough space by counting two seconds between the time the car in front of you passes an object and the time you pass the same object.
- Manage Your Stress – It is important for drivers to be patient when driving through construction zones. Reduced speed limits are in place for the safety of drivers and workers alike. You should also pay attention and avoid distractions, as workers may need to signal you. Keep in mind that everyone around you has a place to go as well. Staying calm and not rushing will get you through traffic and on your way safely and usually without much delay.
TDOT Commissioner Schroer said, “Reducing speeds, staying alert and exercising caution is the best way to ensure workers and motorists stay safe on our roadways.” Spring and summer are the busiest times of year for road construction projects, and TDOT estimates there will be hundreds of active construction projects ongoing throughout the state in the upcoming months.