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Work zone crashes still a big problem, annual survey shows

Photo: Associated General Contractors of America

Arlington, VA — Nearly 2 out of 3 highway construction contractors say motor vehicle crashes have happened in work zones under their firm’s operation in the past year, according to a new survey.

More than 500 firms nationwide responded to the annual Work Zone Awareness Survey, conducted by the Associated General Contractors of America and software company HCSS. 

Findings show that 64% of the contractors experienced a work zone crashes in the past year, and 24% reported five incidents or more. Additionally, 97% of the respondents agreed that the risk of a crash in highway work zones is greater or about the same as it was a year ago.

The respondents who said the crash risk was greater cited cellphone use (88%) and speeding (80%) as the leading causes.

Further, 9% of the contractors observed a worker fatality stemming from a crash, while 27% reported a driver or passenger fatality.

“Bad driving behavior and lax work zone safety laws don’t just put construction workers at greater risk,” AGC CEO Jeffrey Shoaf said in a press release. “Our new data shows that drivers and their passengers are in even greater danger from highway work zone crashes.”

The AGC of Vermont and Carolinas AGC recently released separate videos aimed at raising awareness of work zone safety. Matt Musgrave, government affairs director at AGC of Vermont, calls on drivers to shift their mindset and approach when encountering work zones.

“Don’t see the work zone; see the people working in the zone,” Musgrave say in the video. “What I think people have to realize is they need to make a major paradigm shift, that they need to see individuals in those work zones. They may not be in clear view, but they are there.”

For more on work zone safety, check out What can be done to make work zones safer?

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