During the summer months in Missouri, the Missouri Department of Transportation is out in full force, making highway and road improvements throughout the state. However, these improvements set the stage for very dangerous driving conditions. Automobile accidents in work zones can cause major personal injuries, property damage, and even death. Innocent drivers, innocent highway workers, and the negligent drivers not paying attention are all at risk for serious personal injuries as a result of an automobile accident.
One of the biggest risks in work zones is slowed or stopped traffic. Drivers who are not paying close attention may not notice the traffic, and may instead drive right into the back of stopped vehicles. This is the same situation that occurred just last week near Gray Summit Missouri, when the four-car collision took the lives of two young people. This accident involved a semi-truck, a pick-up truck and two school buses from St. James, Missouri carrying band students on their way to Six Flags.
Highway workers themselves are at risk of personal injuries or wrongful death by the very nature of their jobs–they often stand nearly completely unprotected on the roadway near speeding traffic. Drivers should be aware and obey the speed limit in these work zones to avoid injuring or killing highway workers.
MODOT encourages drivers to stay alert in work zones. Follow all posted signs, pay close attention to the conditions on the road and expect the unexpected, such as slowed traffic, workers, flaggers, and equipment. Speeding through work zones is a large cause of many accidents. Also, MoDot encourages drivers to “be nice” by merging as directed, not changing lanes in a work zone, and not tailgating. MoDot sponsors “Operation Orange” in support of work zone safety.