Effects of longer trucks

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Dirk Kemper

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Effects of longer trucks on traffic safety and traffic flow at work sites

Work sites represent critical areas on motorways. The required expansion (incorporation of lanes) and the maintenance (restoration or complete renewal) of motorways inevitably leads to an increased installation of long-term and short-term work sites.
Previous studies on the use of longer trucks assume that no fundamental risks of new type arise from an increase in the permissible length of vehicles or vehicle combinations. It is however not excluded that the vehicle lengths entail an increase in the number of critical situations, e. g. in transition areas of work sites. Findings which confirm this assumption are not yet available, though.
Therefore, the use of longer trucks at long-term and short-term work sites should be analyzed with the aim to obtain research-based findings about the impact on traffic safety and traffic flow at work sites on motorways. Regarding this fact, it is particularly to assess if differences between longer trucks and conventional trucks can be expected. These findings must be determined in real operating conditions due to the experiences observed in field tests with longer trucks. As a result, possibly increased demands on the security of long-term and short-term work sites should be identified.