Highway Accident Report

Adopted: February 7, 1980
MULTIPLE-VEHICLE COLLISION
IN A CONSTRUCTION ZONE
U.S. INTERSTATE 80,
NEAR LARAMIE, WYOMING
AUGUST 22, 1979

NTSB Number: HAR-80/01
NTIS Number: PB80-148794


SYNOPSIS

About 6:25 a.m., on August 22, 1979, a westbound tractor-semitrailer sideswiped an eastbound tractor-semitrailer and then struck an eastbound motor home in a two-lane, undivided roadway in a construction zone on Interstate 80 about 30 miles northwest of Laramie, Wyoming. The driver and codriver of the westbound tractor-semitrailer were killed. Six of the seven persons in the motor home were ejected and killed; one person was partially ejected and seriously injured. The two persons in the eastbound tractor-semitrailer were not injured.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the failure of the fatigued driver of the westbound truck to maintain his vehicle within the proper traffic lane. Contributing to the severity of the accident was the excessive speed of the westbound truck.

RECOMMENDATIONS

As a result of its investigation of this accident, the National Transportation Safety Board made the following recommendations:
to the Federal Highway Administration:

Expand the Emergency Final Rule, 23 CFR 630.1010 to apply to all construction and maintenance zones on divided Federal-aid roads. (Class I, Urgent Action) (H-80-9)

Develop and disseminate a manual which will compile past operational experience and current research findings related to channelizing traffic which is rerouted in work areas. (Class II, Priority Action) (H-80-10)

Promote the development of a traffic control device to fill the gap between the shaped concrete barrier and traffic cones to serve as a continuous visual barrier to separate traffic in work zones. (Class III, Longer Term Action) (H-80-11)

to the State of Wyoming:

Conduct an engineering study to determine where regrading of the shoulders is necessary and correct those locations to reduce the number of overturning accidents on Interstate 80 between mileposts 263 and 312. (Class II, Priority Action) (H-80-12)

Take necessary steps to increase the effectiveness of its enforcement of speed limits, especially within and adjacent to construction zones. (Class II, Priority Action) (H-80-13)