Just under 70 percent of responding highway contractors in a new survey report that their work sites have seen motor vehicle accidents and crashes in the last year.
The report, issued by the Washington-based Associated General Contractors of America, also notes that those crashes overwhelmingly resulted in injuries to drivers and/or passengers, while 28 percent saw site worker injuries, with 8 percent reporting fatalities.
“There are simply too many cars crashing into too many work zones, putting too many lives at risk,” said AGS spokesman Brian Turmail in a statement regarding the report.
Turmail noted that for that reason the association is launching a “nationwide outreach effort designed to better educate motorists about the need to drive with care in highway work zones.”
Nearly 400 contractors participated in the survey, which was conducted earlier this spring.
Contractors’ responses in just one state, Iowa, appeared fairly typical with 50 percent reporting highway workplace motor vehicle crashes ranging in number from one to five or more.
The survey also showed that 63 percent of those respondents said that such accidents resulted in injuries to anywhere from one to five or more drivers or passengers.
Some 86 percent of respondents said they thought a greater police presence at such work zone construction sites would serve to reduce the number of crashes and accidents; while another 73 percent were in favor of closing roads where work projects are taking place or detouring traffic.
The AGC said its public awareness campaign regarding highway work sites accidents will include radio and other media spots, as well as increased work with both local and state departments of transportation to “ensure adequate highway work zone protections are in place.”
By Garry Boulard
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