The aim of the truck lane restrictions is generally to separate trucks from cars and other vehicles to reduce traffic congestion. There are several considerations:
- Truck drivers tend to drive fast because the more deliveries they make, the more money the drivers earn.
- Trucks usually have more difficulty taking turns and more difficulty climbing steep roads and hills than other vehicles
- Trucks tend to cause more damage to roads because they’re much heavier than other roads
- Separating cars from trucks makes it easier for the drivers of each type of vehicle to navigate the roadways
According to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WADOT), only a few major roads in the US have truck-only lanes – such as I-5 in California and I-75 in Georgia. Part of the reason why there aren’t many truck-only lanes is that it costs a lot of money to add new traffic lanes. WADOT states that separate truck lanes should be considered where there are high volumes of trucks that cause road congestion such as:
- When more than 30% of the vehicles on a highway are trucks
- Peak-hour traffic is more than 1,800 vehicles per lane for each hour
- Off-peak traffic is more than 1,200 vehicles per lane for each hour
State departments of transportation usually conduct feasibility studies that balance the dangers of truck accidents and congestion with the cost of new roads and roadway signs.
Restricting trucks to specific lanes of travel
Many states do require that trucks only use the right and center-most lanes of the highway, so that the left-most lane can be used just for passenger vehicles. Trucks are permitted to use the left-most lane if they need to pass another vehicle or if they need to be in the left-most lane to enter or exit the highway.
Restricting trucks to certain lanes can be done throughout the year or can be limited to certain times of the day – such as peak-hours. According to the Texas A&M University, restricting the lanes trucks can travel in should “only be considered where there is a minimum of 4 percent trucks in the traffic stream over a 24-hour period and when approximately 10 percent of the total truck traffic is using the lane to be restricted.” The length of the roadway restriction should be at least six miles.
Tennessee truck restrictions
In Tennessee, drivers of all types of vehicles (trucks, cars, and other vehicles) are required to drive in the right lane if they drive below the normal traffic speed, except for passing or turning left. Truck drivers must comply with highway signs that limit certain types of trucks (like semis) to specific lanes of travel except when passing.
Truck accidents often cause death or severe injuries because of their size, weight, and dimensions. At Wagner & Wagner Attorneys at Law, our truck accident lawyers examine police reports, work with investigators, conduct extensive written and oral discovery of witnesses, and fight to show you’re your injuries or the death of a loved one were caused by negligent truck drivers. We demand compensation for your economic and non-economic losses (including your pain and suffering). Call us at 423-756-7923 or use our contact form to schedule an appointment. We fight for injured drivers, passengers, and pedestrians, in Chattanooga or Cleveland, TN, or in North Georgia and the neighboring locations.