24% of Contractors Report 5 or More Work Zone Crashes

May 28, 2024
AGC survey asked 700 highway contractors about work zone safety.

One in four (24%) highway contractors say that more than five crashes have occurred in their work zones in the past 12 months. Of those, 29% said workers were injured and 66% said drivers or passengers were hurt.

The results were reported in a survey conducted by the Associated General Contractors of America and HCSS, and include responses from more than 700 contractors.

Carolinas AGC produced a video (left) featuring member companies Balfour Beatty and S.T. Wooten Corporation as they remember their colleague, CJ Bryant, who was working to improve I-40 in North Carolina when he was struck by a driver in his work zone.

The association is pushing Congress to require the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to collect comprehensive data on work zone crashes, including who is killed or injured in those crashes and to require states to create plans to reduce work zone crashes.

Shoaf said that work zone safety laws have failed to keep pace with the growing dangers, and the survey reported that 64% of respondents said that the current penalties for moving violations in highway work zones are not sufficient to deter unsafe driving behavior. Two-thirds want states to pass stricter laws against cell phone usage and distracted driving in work zones, and 60% want automated enforcement in those zones.

“Too few drivers see the need to slow down and pay attention in work zones because too few states have made work zone safety a top priority,” Shoaf said.

“Automated enforcement laws would go a long way in improving work zone safety, especially if the work zone is on the driver’s daily route,” said Steve McGough, president/CEO of HCSS. “It compels drivers to decrease their speed and pay closer attention to their surroundings.”

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