According to the VDOT Work Safety Zone Coordinator Brian Fry, in 2008 there were more than 2,000 crashes in highway work zones in Virginia. In those crashes, 6 people died and more than 1,000 were injured. The statistics show that 80% of those killed in work zone crashes are drivers, not highway workers. When you add distracted driving to the increased dangers associated with work zones, the results are foreseeable and deadly. Highway construction accident and injured motorist lawyer Doug Landau notes that work zones bring heavy equipment and workers into close proximity to high speed cars and trucks. The orange signs, construction workers clothing and equipment that clients see marked as exhibits in the evidence room at ABRAMS LANDAU are painted bright colors in order to get motorists’ attention. But many motorists who are talking on a cell phone or texting never notice the vulnerable men and women who are working to make our highways and roads safer.
Everyone needs to make a concentrated effort to put the electronic devices away in highway work zones. Make highway work zones “No Phone Zones.” The Virginia Department of Transportation’s Norther Virginia Operations will do its part to ensure that the roads of our Commonwealth are safe, but drivers need to do their part by putting the phone away, keeping both hands on the wheel and staying alert when approaching a work zone. As Mr. Fry points out in his April 21, 2010 Fairfax County Times Letter to the Editor, “Each of us wants to get home safely to our families each night.”