The Associated General Contractors (AGC) of America has released a study of highway work zone safety, and the results show that these job sites remain just as dangerous as ever. Most even say the danger is growing.
In the past year, 44 percent of highway contractors reported that a motor vehicle had crashed into their construction work zones. Among those who reported crashes, 49 percent reported that motor vehicle operators or passengers were injured, and 13 percent involved a driver or passenger fatality.
Worker safety is also an issue. In this group, 25 percent of work zone crashes resulted in injuries to construction workers, and 11 percent have resulted in fatalities. Eighty-two percent of contractors reported that these crashes pose a greater risk today than a decade ago.
Because of these startling numbers, the AGC is launching a new campaign to promote safety while driving through highway work zones. Motorists are encouraged to stay alert and slow down.
“There is no meeting, email or text that is more important than the safety of workers or motorists,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, CEO, AGC of America. “It is absolutely essential for every driver to slow down, pay attention and put the phone down while driving through highway work zones.”
The safety campaign will include radio ads that will air in cities across the United States. The ads promote safety, and warn drivers that unsafe driving in work zones can result in the deaths of both those in the vehicle and construction workers.
Besides the obvious—and more important—safety issues, these accidents can also dramatically affect the status of the construction project itself. Twenty-seven percent of contractors said that work zone crashes resulted in a temporary shutdown of activity on the job site. Of those reporting delays, 52 percent said the shutdowns lasted two or more days.
The survey was completed by more than 700 contractors across the United States. The national findings, as well as statistics for each region and several states, can be found at www.agc.org/news/2017/05/25/2017-highway-work-zone-safety-survey.