Truckers Take on Deadly Highways

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In the aftermath of a fatal wreck last week on Interstate 20/59 in Meridian, NewsCenter 11 talked with truckers who see this frequently all over the country. Unfortunately, they're not uncommon.

In the year 2000 Mississippi experienced at least 15 fatalities and 544 injuries in highway work zones. Tuesday we asked a man who has been driving 18-wheelers for 27 years how these accidents happen and how much warning they need for construction sites.

"I think they think about the four wheelers more than they do us, you know the 18 (wheelers)," said Lyndell Ferguson. "I would say three quarters to a mile so we know ahead of time what's going on. You know I mean at least that much warning. They think we can stop on a dime but that's not true."

Another driver agreed.

"At 55 miles per hour we need a whole football field to stop," said N. Vela. "Basically 100 yards. "They don't give us enough warning, the signs, to tell you that merging traffic is occurring."

Another said there should be signs at least a mile ahead of a construction site.

"Top a hill and all of a sudden everybody stops right there," said Mickey Faircloth. "You don't have no kind of warning going on or anything like that."

But he also said many four wheel drivers create their own hazards.

"Well like last night I was coming up across Mississippi here and it was raining real hard, you know just raining in spots, and all of a sudden they'd hit the rain and slam on their brakes and I'm doing like when it's raining the speed limit is 70," Faircloth said. "I usually drop down five or six miles under whatever the speed limit is on account of the rain but if you've got a four wheeler that just all of a sudden slams on his brakes and goes from 75 to 55 or 60, just that quick, and you're behind him you just can't stop."