Sixty-seven percent of highway contractors report that motor vehicles crashed into their construction work zones during the past year, according to the results of a new highway work zone study conducted by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). In response, the AGC has launched a new radio and media campaign urging drivers to slow down and remain alert in highway work zones.

“There are simply too many cars crashing into too many work zones, putting too many lives at risk,” said AGC national spokesman Brian Turmail. 

Approximately 70 percent of contractors reported work zone crashes on their projects in which motor vehicle operators or passengers were injured. In addition, 28 percent of those crashes involved a driver or passenger fatality, 28 percent injured workers and in 8 percent, workers were killed.

Some 73 percent of contractors say the risk of highway work zone crashes is greater now than it was a decade ago.

The AGC safety is intended to improve highway work zone safety for workers and motorists alike and will use radio and social media to urge drivers to be more careful and alert in highway work zones.

The association is also working with construction equipment and technology firms to develop systems to better alert workers when vehicles come too close to job sites. Additionally, individual chapters will continue to work with local and state police and state departments of transportation to ensure adequate highway work zone protections are in place.

“When you see construction signs and orange barrels, obey the posted speed limit, keep your eyes on the road and get off the phone,” Turmail said. “No amount of saved time, and certainly no social media post or text, is worth the safety of you, your passengers or the men and women working on our roads.”

The work zone safety study was based on a nationwide survey of highway construction firms the association conducted this April and May. Nearly 400 contractors completed the survey. Click here to view the national, state and regional highway construction zone survey results.