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Lower speed limits for trucks don’t decrease crash risk in construction zones: report

Vehicles can get hit from behind or sideswiped when motorists merge in poor weather conditions, a study backed by the U.S. Department of Transportation said.

SmartCities DIVE By Charles Pekow

October 31, 2022

Poor driving conditions may increase the risk of a car crash in work zones but the effect of differing speed limits for cars and trucks along those stretches of roads was “insignificant,” a federally funded study by Colorado State University researchers found.

Studies show that there are higher accident rates, including fatal ones, in areas where road maintenance is underway, according to the report.

In construction zones, some lanes can close, requiring drivers to change lanes and speeds, increasing the likelihood of a crash, the report said. While poor road conditions are a factor, they play a bigger role in single-vehicle collisions than in crashes involving multiple vehicles, where issues such as traffic congestion and careless driving are more problematic, the researchers found.

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