Any driver knows that operating a commercial motor vehicle requires laser focus on the task at hand. The rule of thumb on highways is to leave at least a two-second buffer between your vehicle and the one in front. But, with cars speeding in front of trucks, weaving in and out of lanes, the gap is often rendered useless.
So, what happens when you eliminate other drivers from the equation? That’s the question Georgia transportation officials are asking. Last month, the state announced plans for the country’s first toll-free, truck-only highway to be built between the cities of Atlanta and Macon, with the intention of improving the safety of long-haul truck drivers and, subsequently, the public around them. The highway would be completely independent from existing roadways with its own entrances and exits.
The concept is not revolutionary, as states like California have established truck-only lanes on roadways; even so some of these still allow cars. Georgia’s road would, instead, be entirely dedicated to truck drivers.
By purposely separating trucks from cars, commercial motor vehicle drivers are then given the room needed to safely travel from point A to point B. As a result, the risk of unsafe driving events, caused by erratic public drivers or sudden braking, is expected to greatly decrease.
In 2016, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports a total of 4,317 fatalities occurred from crashes involving large trucks.
Traffic congestion is also projected to lessen by 40%, according to Georgia’s Department of Transportation, and may offer a much-needed solution to Atlanta’s I-75 where it meets I-285 North. Currently, this intersection is one of the top ten bottlenecks in the U.S.
A truck-dedicated highway further offers an opportunity for fleets to test out new safety technologies and practices, including autonomous vehicles and platooning, without impacting cars.
Although Georgia’s plans won’t get underway until later in 2018, fleets in Georgia—and across the U.S.—can still focus on improving their organization’s overall performance by establishing a comprehensive safety program.
To learn how to create a comprehensive safety program, and reap business benefits that extend beyond the road, click out our Safety Solutions.