Truck Driver Killed in Highway Work Zone CollisionAbstract:
On March 12, 2001, a 52-year-old truck driver was killed when his tractor-trailer truck struck a dump truck protecting a highway work zone. The incident occurred on a major interstate highway as the victim was hauling a container of municipal waste to a landfill. A state road crew was working that morning to fill potholes in the right hand lane of the highway. This mobile operation would drive up to a pothole, fix it, and continue on to the next hole. The work zone was marked by trucks carrying warning signs and arrow boards that drove behind the work crew. Two large dump trucks equipped with impact attenuators drove directly behind the work zone to protect the crew. At about 11:20 a.m., the victim approached the road crew and struck the impact attenuator on a dump truck. The collision caused the victim’s truck to flip over on its side and slide down the highway until it came to rest with the truck cab upside down, killing the driver. No workers on the road crew were injured. A second driver involved in the ensuing motor vehicle accident was treated at the local hospital for neck injuries and released that evening. NJ FACE investigators concluded that, to prevent similar incidents in the future, these safety guidelines should be followed:
State highway authorities should consider reducing speed limits in construction work zones on high-traffic highways.
State, county, and local authorities should consider stationing law enforcement officers in patrol cars and using radar surveillance for traffic speed control at highway work zones.