This past week, the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) concluded the yearly National Work Zone Awareness Week safety campaign, a campaign that raises awareness for roadside workers. This safety campaign aims to ask motorists to be aware of highway workers moving over or slowing down within Tennessee construction zones.
Initially launched in 2017, the “Work With Us” safety campaign helps improve safety conditions in interstate, highway, and maintenance zones. During the midweek of the campaign, residents throughout the Volunteer State wore the color orange to show their support for the awareness efforts.
Construction Employees Being Killed on Roads
Since the 1940s, 112 construction employees have been killed in the line of duty on Tennessee roads, representing an average of over one death per year. One of these deaths was David Younger, who was killed six years ago on I-40 in Hickman County while helping another TDOT crew member change a tire. A trucker who wasn’t paying attention slammed into the group. His daughter said that her dad “would always go out of the way to help people. And that’s what he did here with TDOT.”
To prevent these types of tragic incidents, here are some essential driving tips when approaching or inside safety and construction work zones:
- Merge with caution and avoid cutting anyone off. It is the merging driver’s responsibility to merge lanes safely and effectively. Merge lanes at a slow rate of speed, and always be mindful of your blind spots.
- Plan beforehand. Doing so will help avoid abrupt lane changes when you are at or near the worksite.
- If you are unlucky enough to break down in a construction zone, don’t panic. Stay in your vehicle and turn on your hazard lights if it is unsafe to exit. If your vehicle is not disabled, drive to a shoulder or off-ramp at the first indication of trouble, if at all possible.
- If your vehicle becomes disabled or damaged in a work zone, be extremely cautious if you exit the vehicle, even on the roadway shoulder. You may be exposed to high-speed traffic hazards and potential hazards within the work zone that is not intended for pedestrians.
These are just a few safety pointers that can help you and others stay safe in construction zones. Be sure to avoid using electronic devices and remain distraction-free while driving. Even though the yearly National Work Zone safety campaign that raises awareness for roadside workers ended this past week, driving extra-cautious when approaching construction zones should be a year-round habit.
If you or a family member have been injured in an accident due to another driver’s negligence or aggressive driving, contact our Nashville-based office at 615-244-2111 for a free and confidential consultation, and we will assist you. Our law firm works on a contingency basis. There is no fee unless a settlement or jury verdict award is reached on your behalf.
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Tennessee Accident & Injury Attorneys