Interstate 85 in Coweta County has been an accident magnet for the past several weeks because of the construction work going on there in both northbound and southbound lanes. Several truck accidents have been reported. The construction work has meant that traffic rules are being broken at random. Truck drivers and motorists, highway authorities complain, are not sticking to the reduced speed limits now posted in the zone. It’s not just traffic police and highway officials who are concerned about the several accidents that have taken place, but also construction workers hard at work on the road.
In an example of what highway authorities are so concerned about, a tractor trailer and a tanker truck collided at the construction zone , resulting in an explosion and fire at the scene. The wheels of the tractor trailer apparently slid off the edge of the payment, and the driver, in a panic, overcorrected, colliding with a tanker nearby. The tanker truck was pushed into a construction barrier wall that had been erected to protect workers. The collision damaged the fuel tank of the tanker truck, and it caught fire. Both the tractor trailer and tanker truck drivers suffered injuries. No other vehicles were involved in the crash. A nearby school was partially evacuated as a precautionary measure, although no students were injured. The initial panic when the tanker truck exploded led to rumors that smaller vehicles had been caught in the collision, but that wasn’t true. All lanes on I-85 were closed for several hours after the accident.
Transportation officials are appealing to motorists to take great care while driving through the construction zone. The construction work is expected to continue for the rest of the year, and conditions on the highway will continue to be dangerous. Officials are asking motorists to use other routes to get to their destination if possible. In spite of lower speed limits, there have been too many instances of speeding drivers causing accidents in the area. Reckless motorists continue to drive at excessive speeds, and there are too few law enforcement officers at the scene to crack down on speeding motorists. The conditions on the road are even worse when it rains.
The drivers of the tanker truck, the tractor trailer and other motorists in the area were extremely fortunate that there were no fatalities or injuries in this accident. As Georgia truck accident lawyers, we’ve seen our share of accidents that quickly lead to an explosion and an inferno after fuel tanks explode or fuel spills onto the highway, only to be ignited. An explosion and a fire could easily have consumed smaller vehicles or construction workers standing nearby. While the revised traffic rules for the construction zone on I-85 hold true for all, they are especially important for truck drivers who should be especially careful while using that stretch of highway.