Fatal crashes in Georgia work zones spiked in recent years. The victims are drivers, passengers, and pedestrians such as workers on road projects. Areas of construction on the road remain highly dangerous places despite restricted speed limits and other safeguards.
The increase in fatal work zone accidents in recent years is highlighted by the Georgia Department of Transportation. The department highlights an increase from 23 deaths in highway construction zones in 2014 to 55 in 2017.
In some cases, road workers have paid the ultimate price of speeding, reckless and careless drivers. Georgia DOT lost 60 workers from 1973 to the present. In 2017 alone, work zones were the scenes of 20,834 accidents in Georgia, resulting in more than 7,200 injuries and 55 deaths. In Georgia, drivers and passengers are the victims of 78 percent of work zone deaths.
The work zone death fatality figures are alarming. Despite elevated fines and warnings about speeding in work zones, more people are dying.
Georgia DOT states the top causes for fatal work zone crashes were vehicles leaving the roadway and rear-end collisions. Both of these types of crashes are associated with distraction, driving too fast for conditions and drivers being under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Truck-involved and pedestrian-involved deaths are also on the rise. The death total included 18 fatalities involving trucks and 12 deaths of pedestrians in Georgia work zones.
A safety sheet compiled by Georgia DOT this year revealed the number of work zone crashes appear to be rising nationally. However, more recent figures than 2015 were not available.
Nationally, work zone crashes increased 42 percent from 2013 to 2015. Work zone accidents caused 35,536 injuries and 700 deaths in 2015. The Federal Highway Administration reported 130 worker deaths, a 9 percent rise on the previous year.
We recently offered advice on how to reduce accidents in Georgia work zones. Drivers should always slow down, be vigilant, follow posted signs and never drive distracted. Please be attentive in work zones. You may encounter lane closures, narrow lanes, workers and heavy machinery.
If you or a family member has been the victim of a work zone accident in Georgia please call the Law Office of Michael West today at (404) 913-1529.