Construction Declares War on Highway Work Zone CarnageAuthor/Presenter: Krizan, William G.
They are not just statistical losses like the win-loss record of a struggling baseball club. The many hundreds of people killed each year in highway work zone accidents are mothers, daughters, sons and fathers who have had their most precious possession stolen-their life. Some are motorists and truckers who crash while trying to pick their way through the ever-growing number of highway work zones. Others are flaggers, laborers, equipment operators, inspectors, engineers and supervisors employed by contractors and state departments of transportation who are struck by construction equipment on the site or by wayward motor vehicles. But when these victims are unified into a cold, anonymous statistic, the results numb the mind. There were 772 people killed and 39,000 injured in motor vehicle crashes in construction work zones in 1998, the last year for which national data is available. This is slightly higher than the average of 760 people killed every year. The industry always has been concerned with the problem, but contractors, contracting agencies and government policy makers finally are coming together to declare war on this carnage.