AGC launches highway work zone safety campaign

Forty-four percent of highway contractors reported that motor vehicles had 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), Arlington, Virginia. As a result, association officials launched a new national advertising and outreach campaign to urge motorists to stay alert and slow down while driving through highway work zones.

Association officials said that a majority of contractors (82 percent) report that motor vehicle crashes pose a greater risk today than they did just ten years ago. That is why the association is launching its new campaign.

Stephen E. Sandherr, CEO for the association, notes that the campaign will feature new radio ads that will air in dozens of cities around the country that caution drivers to be careful in highway work zones. The ads warn drivers that speeding, texting and losing focus while in work zones aren’t worth the “nightmare” of killing workers, drivers or passengers.

Forty-nine percent of contractors who reported work zone crashes on their projects said that motor vehicle operators or passengers were injured, according to the survey, and 13 percent of those crashes involved a driver or passenger fatality. Highway work zone crashes also pose a significant risk for construction workers. The survey indicates 25 percent of work zone crashes injure construction workers, and 11 percent of those crashes kill them.

Work zone crashes also have a pronounced impact on construction schedules and costs, Sandherr says. He notes that 27 percent of contractors reported that work zone crashes during the past year have forced them to temporarily shut down construction activity. Those delays were often lengthy, as 52 percent of those project shutdowns lasted two or more days.

AGC’s Highway Work Zone Safety Study was based on a nationwide survey completed by more than 700 contractors.