Every year, hundreds of motorists and construction workers in Georgia are injured in accidents in highway work zones. To raise awareness about the important of safety in these zones, the Georgia Department of Transportation recently launched a special awareness and education campaign.
The campaign is called Drive Like You Work Here, and it aims to raise awareness about the special dangers construction workers face while working in highway work zones. These construction workers provide a vital service to the nation, namely by helping with infrastructure development projects that are oftentimes the lifeblood of our state’s economy. However, they are also frequently at risk from motorists who fail to understand the need to pay special attention they drive through these congested work zones.
It is not just construction workers who are at risk when motorists drive through these highway work zones without paying attention, but the motorists themselves are also at risk for serious injury when they are inattentive or speed through a zone. In the year 2018 alone, there were 52 accident related fatalities in work zones in Georgia. These fatalities were all members of the public, meaning none of the fatalities involved a construction worker.
Since 1973, there have been a total of 73 worker fatalities in highway construction work zones across Georgia. The years between 2014 and 2017 showed an unfortunate trend of a regular increase in the number of highway construction worker fatalities annually. In 2014, there were 23 death. This number grew until 2017, where there was a record high 55 fatalities of construction workers. In fact, 2018 was one of the few years in which highway work zone fatality statistics did not involve any construction workers.
Experts say that construction workers are even more at risk from the ever-growing problem of distracted driving. According to experts, many work zone accidents are caused by motorists who fail to notice the construction workers, pieces of construction debris, or construction machinery that may be strewn across a zone, simply because they are not paying attention.
The Drive Like You Work Here campaign encourages all Georgians to drive safely though work zones. First and foremost, it is crucial to reduce your speed when you approach a work zone, and continue to maintain a reduced speed until you exit the work area. Not only does driving at your usual speeds place workers at risk of an accident, it can also place you and your passengers at risk of injuries or death in a crash.
Avoid distractions when you are entering a construction work zone. Ignore phone calls and text messages so you can focus on the surroundings. In addition to watching out for construction workers, you should also watch out for pieces of construction equipment and machinery, and large amounts of construction debris, as these can also put you at risk for an accident. Lastly, always wear your seatbelt as it is your first line of defense in case of an accident.
The Atlanta auto accident attorneys at the Katz Law Firm represent persons injured in car accidents in the metro Atlanta region and across Georgia. If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident, call a lawyer at our firm, and discuss your legal rights to a claim for damages. Initial consultations are free – you don’t have to pay us until we recover compensation for you.