Construction workers who work on roads put their lives on the line every day. Proximity to traffic means that one wrong move by a driver could end in severe injury or death for the worker. For one Tennessee construction worker, this truth hit close to home in January. The man was working on Interstate 440 and placed a sign out at night by the road. A white pickup truck drifted a tad too far over the white line and struck the sign. The sign then hit the worker in the leg, causing injuries that required X-rays to determine whether bones were broken. Officials say that the man is in doing fine, a lucky outcome to what could have been a terrible accident.
Work Zone Injury by the Numbers
According to Department of Transportation data, in 2014, there were 669 work zone fatalities on American roads. This equates to nearly two deaths per day, and the trend seems to be getting worse. 2014 work zone fatalities were up 8 percent from 2012 and 13 percent from 2013.
As far as injuries, more than 40,000 people are hurt every year in work zone motor vehicle crashes.
There are several factors that increase the risk of construction worker injury in work zones. Speed is the number one factor, and the reason that work zones require drivers to slow down. Another huge factor is distracted driving. Smartphones are the biggest offender and can pose a serious threat to construction workers. When using a smart device while driving, the average driver takes his or her eyes off the road for five seconds. At 55 mph, the driver can cross the length of a football field in those five seconds.
Do your part to protect our construction workers and yourself – slow down and stay attentive in work zones.
Isaiah 40:8, “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.”