Of the 550 highway contractors who responded to a survey by the Associated General Contractors of America, 54 percent said a vehicle had crashed into their work zones in the past year.
That’s up from 44 percent in 2017.
The national AGC survey also showed 48 percent of those contractors reported that the incidents resulted in injuries to vehicle operators or passengers (down from 49 percent in 2017), and 24 percent said the crashes involved a fatality (up from 13 percent in 2017).
Workers were injured in crashes, as well. According to the survey, 25 percent reported workers injured and 3 percent reported worker deaths from work zone crashes.
“There are simply too many cars crashing into too many work zones, putting too many lives at risk,” said Ken Kubacki, chairman of AGC’s highway and transportation division and the western region projects executive for Granite Construction Co., in a statement.
The survey also revealed that 53 percent of the contractors had to delay projects during the past 12 months because of work zone crashes. That’s up from 27 percent in 2017.
In response, AGC launched a summer public awareness campaign to urge drivers to be more cautious in work zones. The campaign targeted Pittsburgh; St. Louis; Birmingham, Alabama; and Evansville, Indiana, where people are being sent mobile advertising with special work zone safety messages, AGC says.
The ads show up when the targeted audience members visit a web browser on their phones or use an app with advertisements. AGC says the campaign, which began May 24, has reached over 1.5 million people.