MoDOT Considers Truck-Only Lanes on I-70 to Reduce Missouri Trucking Accidents

By March 18, 2009Highway Safety

The Missouri Department of Transportation is pressing ahead with its plan to build truck-only lanes on part of Interstate 70, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Examiner of Independence, Mo. reported. After a yearlong study of the effects and cost of the project, the department is proceeding with public discussions of the plan, such as the one held March 5 in Blue Springs. The project currently has no funding, but the department is still planning in the hope that it can be ready — even “shovel-ready” — when it can secure the money.
The plan applies to nearly 200 miles of I-70, one of the busiest corridors for trucks in the country. MoDOT’s plan calls for widening and rebuilding the highway between Lake Saint Louis and Independence, setting aside two lanes exclusively for trucks and two for passenger cars, pickups and SUVs. It would also add interchanges used exclusively by trucks, some used exclusively by cars and some new bridges. The goal is to separate truck traffic from everyday car traffic, to improve the safety of both sets of traveler. According to the department, trucks are involved in 28% of all accidents and 40% of fatal accidents on I-70 through Missouri.
Both truck drivers and car commuters like the idea, according to the articles. As a Missouri trucking accident attorney, I don’t find that at all surprising. Drivers of smaller vehicles get nervous around trucks because trucks’ bigger size and weight poses a real danger in an accident. And truckers, who must control those large vehicles, can’t always stop their trucks in time when car drivers cut them off or cross the center divide. The result is generally death for the people in the smaller car or very serious injuries, including brain damage and paralysis.
This is a tragedy no matter what the circumstances, and I hope that MoDOT’s plan is able to save lives and prevent catastrophic disabilities. But when a Missouri large truck accident is caused by a trucker’s or trucking company’s carelessness, victims have the right to sue those at-fault parties to get compensation for their injuries. Carey, Danis & Lowe represents clients in southern Illinois, St. Louis and throughout the state who have been severely injured or lost a loved one in a serious accident with a commercial truck. If this has happened to you or someone you love and you’d like to learn more, please contact us online or call 1-877-678-3400 for a free, confidential consultation.