Construction work is among the most dangerous jobs in the country, while traffic accidents continue to kill 30,000+ Americans each year.
Road construction brings those dangers together and creates risks for workers and motorists alike.
Looking at data
Unsafe speeds, tailgating and distractions caused some of the more than 22,000 accidents in Texas work zones in 2020, according to Insurance Journal. Driving through a work zone can seem like an obstacle course with temporary barriers, cones, workers and vehicles along the route and normal traffic markings obscured. The only way to navigate safely is to drive slowly and pay full attention.
Four workers, 147 vehicle occupants and 35 pedestrians and bicyclists died in these accidents last year. This is an increase of 9% over 2019.
Adding to the numbers
According to 12Newsnow.com, the I-10 road widening project recently contributed two more work zone casualties, this time possibly due to the malfunction of heavy equipment. There is no conclusive word yet on how or why part of a crane fell and crushed a pickup truck traveling westbound on Interstate 10.
Because two men died in the accident, the investigation involves federal agencies such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and others. The contractors are conducting their own investigation, for which the Texas Department of Public Safety is providing oversight, and the Texas Department of Transportation is also involved.
Determining which parties contributed to the crane’s malfunction may be complex as the problem could be faulty equipment, user error, maintenance issues, a combination of these issues or some other, unrelated factor.