Q: How dangerous are on-ramps and off-ramps for truckers?
Lately, you’ve noticed an increase in news reports dealing with truck accidents on highways. Over the past few weeks, you’ve actually seen several trucks pulled over near on-ramps with tow trucks, police cars, and ambulances surrounding them. You don’t want to get unjustifiably paranoid, but you have to admit that you’re get a little worried every time you pass an on-ramp with a truck on it.
Should you be worried, or are the odds of getting into a truck accident by an on-ramp, the same as getting into one while going straight on the highway?
Odds of Getting into an On-Ramp Accident With a Truck
According to the Bureau of Transportation and Statistics, 20 – 30 percent of national freeway truck accidents occur on, or near ramps. A highway traffic study funded by the Federal Highway Administration, in conjunction with the Trucking Research Institute, illustrates the staggering risk percentages of truck accidents based on a ramps design and location. These findings, which were published in the Journal of Transportation and Statistics, are as follows:
- Loop ramps. Loop interchanges are basically large “loops” that allow highway traffic going north and south to change direction to east or west. They eliminate 90-degree turns, but promote higher speeds while going around curves. This creates a higher risk for accidents and is why 12 percent of ramp accidents occur on these types of interchanges.
- Diamond ramps. Diamond ramps are on-ramps and off-ramps that cross a bridge over the highway. The study found that approximately 28 percent of ramp collisions occur as a result of side-impact accidents on these types of ramps.
- Directional ramps. Directional ramps veer off in the direction in which you actually want to go—instead of a loop ramp that takes you around in the opposite direction before looping you to the desired direction. Directional ramps account for a staggering 51 percent of truck ramp accidents, most likely due to speed and merging issues. This means that you have 15 percent chance of getting into a truck accident on a directional ramp.
- All other ramps (hybrid of the above three types). These account for the remaining 9 percent of truck ramp accidents.
What to Do When Your Odds Become Reality
Although the above risks don’t mean that you’re guaranteed to get into an accident, you should nevertheless make sure you pay attention to both on-ramps and off-ramps while trucks are approaching and merging. You should also make sure that you follow proper safety and etiquette protocol while in front of, behind, or next to a truck that is on or passing a highway ramp. Remember, if you cause or fall victim to a truck accident, the worst injuries are going to be inflicted on you and your passengers. Don’t be a statistic—be actively aware and safe to prevent these types of accidents.
Need more information on truck accidents or entrance and exit ramp injuries? Contact us today for a free consultation, or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus. We’ll be happy to answer all of your questions, inquiries, and concerns while providing you with support and peace of mind. We’re waiting to hear from you.