Road construction zones are dangerous for both construction crews and motorists.
Advanced warning signs are placed prior to encountering a construction zone, however, in spite of these precautions, the amount of fatal injuries is astonishing! According to the Federal Highway Administration (FWHA), a highway construction zone collision occurs every 5.4 minutes! These collisions are often fatal for the motorist.
Often, construction crews work in a twilight ambiance. Although twilight is romantic mood lighting, these dimly lit construction zones may be deadly for motorists and our hard-working crew members.
Highway renovation is conducted overnight to ease traffic congestion. However many suggest conducting road renovation in the dark of night isn’t worth the risk. According to the Laborer’s Health and Safety Fund (LHSFNA), Washington State’s Department of Transportation (WSDOT) has dubbed overnight construction projects “inherently more dangerous” due to low visibility and intoxicated drivers. Additionally, the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) states that incidents at overnight construction zones tend to cause more serious injuries than those during the day. These deadly accidents are caused by intoxicated and haphazard drivers.
Road construction crews should to take a cue from certain Octopus and emit bio-luminescence, however, the reality is that construction crew members are virtually invisible along dark highways.
Regardless of the time of day. Accidents along road construction zones may be fatal. Over the past 7 years, in Maryland alone, over 400 construction crew members were fatally injured, states a recent study. The fatalities, were mostly, caused by automobile collision.
It’s invisibility, among other perils, that causes a road work zone to be deadly: hefty objects fall from above and heavy machinery spews exhaust. Many of the tools of the trade are large, heavy and emit extreme heat. For this reason, it’s essential that crew members wear protective gear at all times. The Manual on Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) suggests that crew members wear reflective material while on-site.
Road construction safety is bipolar. Motorists must heed the warning signs and crew members must don helmets and reflective habiliments. We all must take responsibility for safety along road construction zones.