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Are Work Zone Accidents Common in Tennessee?

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Tragically, since 1948, more than 100 Tennessee Department of Transportation employees have been killed in work zone accidents along state roadways.

Additionally, many workers have suffered catastrophic injuries like lost limbs, broken bones, spinal cord injuries and/or brain injuries. Many accidents occur in construction or work zones because of speeding and reckless or distracted driving.

According to WKRN-TV, on September 4, two TDOT employees were seriously injured in an accident on Interstate 24 in Manchester. The two workers had to be transported via air to Vanderbilt University Medical Center following the crash.

The station reported that the crash occurred when 54-year-old Tony Hayworth and 50-year-old David Shelton encountered traffic due to a previous crash and attempted to put on a flashing “move over” order to alert drivers.

A tractor-trailer, driven by William Gardner, 63, struck the back of the TDOT truck, forcing it across an emergency lane and causing it to crash into a rock wall.

Following the crash, TDOT released a statement. “Always be aware of your surroundings, whether it’s construction zones or an incident up the road, always be aware of what’s coming up the road. Our workers are out there for a reason. If you see flashing lights, move over,” Heather Jensen, a Community Relations Officer for TDOT said.


According to TDOT, 14 people died in work zone crashes in 2013 in Tennessee, with 11 deaths being drivers or vehicle passengers. Not only is the safety of workers put at risk when you drive recklessly in a work zone, so too is the safety of everyone on the road.

To avoid an accident, you should always leave room between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you when you encounter a work zone. Additionally, you should avoid tailgaters and never pass other vehicles using the shoulder.

Keep in mind—you should always follow posted speed limits, regardless of whether or not you are in a work zone.

If you or a loved one has suffered serious personal injuries, contact our Nashville injury attorney today. He can help you obtain compensation that can pay for healthcare costs, as well as pain and suffering.

“Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth.” – Psalms 119:90

Davis’ Words of Wisdom: Work zone citations can result in increased criminal penalties and fines.

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