It’s hard to believe that you were sweltering in the heat only a month ago. The rain storms have set in for good, and each degree the temperature drops takes you further into autumn. While you don’t mind the rain, the thunderstorms make for a scary ride home on I-435—and of course, there’s always the chance that you won’t have the power on when you get there.
Storms Bring Increased Risk of a Utility Truck Crash on Neighborhood Streets
Many people are happy to see a KCPL worker fixing the lines near their house. After all, the more trucks they send out, the sooner your electricity will be turned back on. However, the more KCPL vehicles you see—or in many cases, don’t see—the more you are likely to suffer a utility truck accident less than a mile from your home.
Drivers and pedestrians often collide with utility trucks in Overland Park due to:
- Early-morning hours. Power outages are most likely to happen at night, meaning trucks are dispatched to work overnight to restore power. This places utility vehicles on the road during peak accident times—and likely while storms continue to rage.
- No street lights. Downed power lines can black out residential blocks, but also several grids of traffic lights and street lights. Drivers who are unfamiliar with an intersection may not realize that the lights have gone out, causing them to continue through an intersection into the path of oncoming cars.
- Residential streets. KCPL trucks have to navigate narrow residential streets, private drives, and hidden driveways in order to repair lines. If the truck is turning out of a drive where the lights are still out, it is likely that they could strike joggers, bikers, or early-morning commuters.
- Heavy vehicles. While many of these vehicles are slow-moving, they are also harder to accelerate quickly to avoid a crash. Due to their sheer weight and size, it is more likely that a utility truck will cause a smaller car to roll over or even crush the vehicle as it lands on top of it.
- Flooding. While utility trucks are not responsible for road flooding, they are undeniably harder to maneuver than smaller cars. If a car becomes stuck in a flooded area of the roadway and a utility vehicle barrels toward it on its way to a downed line, it is unlikely the utility vehicle will be able to avoid a crash.
- Specialized equipment. Utility vehicles are often equipped with additional machinery to help workers do their jobs, such as attached cherry pickers or heavy equipment. If a truck is parked in an awkward or uncommon position around a tight bend while a worker is hoisted into the air, a car coming around the turn may not see it until it is too late.
Knowing the risks of a car accident when the lights are out should be one more thing on your power outage checklist!
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