Truck Accidents on Congested Highways
Connecticut has some of the worst traffic in the country.
Anyone living or working in southern Connecticut who depends on I-91, I-95 or the Merritt Parkway in Fairfield County knows just how bad the traffic can be. Most motorists have come to expect speeds on the highways during peak driving times to average only around 20 or 30 miles an hour. These traffic conditions have grown steadily worse over the years and they don't seem to be getting any better. In fact, multiple studies have ranked Connecticut traffic as some of the worst in the country.
Often times, in heavy traffic, tempers run high as gas tanks run low. The longer a motorist spends sitting stuck in traffic, the more likely they are to resort to reckless driving out of frustration. They might cut off other drivers or behave in ways they normally wouldn't to try to get home a little faster. However, far from shortening your commute, reckless driving will only increase your chances of getting into an accident.
Truck drivers are under pressure
A truck driver who is stuck in traffic may be in a rush for other reasons. Most truck companies pay their drivers per mile driven instead of by the hour, so truck drivers are often not paid for all the time they are stuck in traffic. To make matters worse, truck drivers are often on very tight delivery schedules and hours spent in gridlock traffic could have additional consequences for the driver. The stress and pressure of being stuck in traffic might lead to reckless driving by the truck driver, resulting in an accident.
Many truck drivers work extremely long shifts and the longer they've been on the road, the longer they've been stuck in traffic, and the more fatigued the drivers become. If truck drivers are exhausted, their reaction time has slowed-and if they are in stop-and-go traffic, they need to be able to stop at a moment's notice. Given the size of the average tractor-trailer, suddenly stopping a truck is nearly impossible in the best of circumstances. On a congested roadway, if the driver does not stop in time, the resulting accident could be catastrophic.
It is vitally important that all trucks on the road are well-maintained. While trucking companies have strict standards of maintenance for their vehicles, mistakes do happen. If a truck's brakes have not been adequately inspected, or if they are starting to wear, this could make stopping on a heavily congested roadway even more difficult. If the brakes fail completely, the resulting accident could be much larger and result in far more injuries and fatalities than a car accident.
It's not just the amount of local traffic that is the problem. Many commuters and truck drivers pass through Connecticut each day, either to get to New York or up to New England. The influx of out-of-state traffic only adds to the already congested highways. Drivers who are passing through Connecticut might not be as familiar with the roads as those who live and work in the state. Out-of-state truckers might not know all of the typically congested sections on the highways, so might not know to slow down as they approach those sections to avoid getting into an accident.