The Federal Highway Administration is promoting April 9-13 as the 2018 National Work Zone Awareness Week. Once again, the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) is joining the effort to alert drivers to the increased construction and maintenance work occurring across the state in the spring and summer (Work Zone Awareness! Buckle Up / Phone Down).
Work zone crashes are among the most dangerous kinds of car accidents, as exemplified by the following statistics:
- In 2017, 16 people were killed in work zone crashes in Missouri.
- From 2012 to 2017, 59 people were killed in work zone crashes in Missouri.
- From 2012 to 2017, 3,809 people were injured in work zone crashes in Missouri.
- Of 19 MoDOT employees killed in the line of duty since 2000, 13 were in work zones.
When nearing a work zone, drivers are encouraged to slow their vehicles, put down their phones, and focus their full attention on the road. Work zones are not always obvious on approach. They can be stationary or mobile, such as patching or striping. They can be long-term projects or temporary lane closures for minor repairs or debris removal.
The top five causes of work zone accidents are:
- Distracted or inattentive driving
- Following too closely
- Driving too fast for conditions
- Substance impairment
- Changing lanes or improper lane use
The leading cause of work zone accidents is driver inattention. Missouri’s Slow Down and Move Over law requires a MoDOT vehicle with amber lights flashing on the highway when workers are present. Drivers must slow down and change lanes when approaching. If you aren’t paying close attention when driving at highway speeds, you will come upon these MoDOT vehicles, which often travel at under 10 mph, very suddenly.
Kudos to MoDOT for supporting these efforts to make Missouri roads safer for motorists and highway workers. The danger is even more extreme when these work zone accidents involve tractor-trailers, which are difficult to maneuver and inflict enormous damage in the event of a crash.
If you have been injured in an accident with a large truck or tractor-trailer, please contact Shamberg, Johnson & Bergman for a free consultation. We only receive a fee in the event of a successful resolution of your case.