Safety: Interstates vs. Non-Interstate Roads

Where do accidents happen most? The Interstate? Think again.

Yet again we see that most truck crashes happen off Interstate. In this case research recently published by North Carolina State University and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, using fatal crash datafrom 2005-2009, found that 72 percent of fatal crashes in North Carolina, and 59 percent of fatal crashes in Virginia, occurred on non-interstate roads.

Attendees of the Transportation Research Board annual conference recently heard about the study and possible implications. As more states consider toll roads to help offset declining road funding, truck drivers will be pushed to non-interstate roads to save costs, possibly acerbating this issue. The study also points to the need for more trucking consideration when designing local roadways. By considering truck traffic in non-interstate road design, states will be able to improve safety while accommodating increasing commercial traffic.

In addition to researching the effect of road type on fatal accidents, researchers also studied the difference between fleet size and safety. Fleets with less than 10 power units were found to make up a larger percentage of fatal truck-involved crashes.

As an industry it is important for us to get involved in conversations about road design and planning. When was the last time you talked to your local road commissioner about how trucks fit into their road plans?

This entry was posted on April 2nd, 2012 by jhubbard and is filed under Recent News & Updates.