In 2010, there were more than 2,970 car accidents in highway work zones in Alabama. Over 825 people were injured, and at least 22 people died, many of them road construction workers. Unfortunately, the number of crashes, injuries and fatal accidents was up over 2009 numbers.
Road construction accidents are tragedies, and they are usually entirely preventable. The most common reasons for accidents in highway work zones are drunk driving, speeding and distracted driving.
"Most work zone crashes can be avoided if drivers slow down, pay attention and don't drive while impaired," says Alabama DOT director John R. Cooper. In order to promote both worker and driver safety, ADOT has joined numerous other highway safety agencies nationwide in designating this week as the 12th annual "National Work Zone Awareness Week."
"The increase in crashes in Alabama and across the nation signals a need for more public awareness stressing to motorists to drive with caution in work zones to help save lives."
A highway work zone is a workplace: Safety matters
While we all understand that road construction and maintenance are necessary, but it can be hard to remember that when you're in a hurry and traffic is slow. Experienced drivers may feel tempted to skirt the rules, thinking nothing bad will happen.
Work zones are challenging for drivers, however. Despite the slower pace, the presence of pedestrian construction workers, heavy trucks and industrial equipment can create a confusing maze, even for good drivers.
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