Governor Bevin declared April 9th-April 13th to be Work Zone Safety Week in Kentucky. This coincides with the National Work Zone Awareness Week. This focus was prompted by a 33% spike in road construction accidents, last year.
In 2017, there were 1,007 Kentucky work zone crashes verses 675 in 2016.
These crashes involved injuries, some of them fatal, to road construction crews, as well as drivers and passengers. The Kentucky Office of Highway Safety reports that the primary cause of work zone crashes is distracted driving. This factor was involved in 44% of the incidents. Interestingly, many people would assume the crashes were mostly due to speed. However, speeding only accounted for 24%. While both factors are substantial, distracted driving is by far a more dangerous threat to everyone in a construction zone.
The Federal Highway Administration reports that 7 motorists and 1 road construction worker die in during an average week, due to work zone crashes, nationally.
This issue isn’t new to Kentucky drivers and roadway construction crews. Unfortunately, the problem persists. The increased focus may result in a future decrease in the number of traffic fatalities and/or injuries on our Kentucky roads.
Hargadon, Lenihan and Herrington is a firm of plaintiffs attorneys. We handle injury cases involving cars, trucks, construction equipment and other vehicles. If the driver is at fault, we may represent the injured worker. If the construction company failed to properly mark or designate a construction zone, we may represent the driver and passengers.
We have a long history of working on automobile crashes including those on our interstates, highways and county roads. Depending on where and how the collision happened, there can be multiple jurisdictions involved. There can be state and local laws involved. More frequently, federal laws and regulations come into play. These are very specific. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration governs many of the trucks and other vehicles on our Kentucky roadways. Handling these cases is much different than working on a fender bender on Bardstown Road.
Work zone crashes spiked in 2017. We hope that the renewed focus by the administration, as well as advocacy groups will help to decrease that number in 2018. As spring arrives, road construction is going to pick up. Let’s all be on the watch so drivers, passengers and road crews all get home safely.