Roadway Design and the Importance of Work Zones to Protect Workers

 

 

 

Road & Highway Accidents

Grown in tandem with America’s love of the automobile, a complex and extensive system of highways and roads now wind their way through every state. However, while more cars have been manufactured and put into use on these roads, the roads themselves have not grown proportionately. According to the US Dept of Transportation, between the years of 1985 and 2006, vehicle miles traveled increased by nearly 100 percent, while highway lane miles only increased 5 percent during the same period. The result? More congestion.

In an attempt to relieve this congestion and to repair or to replace existing roadways, state and local governments spend considerable time maintaining and building new roads in their jurisdictions. Construction sites are constantly created and traffic controls are implemented so vehicular and pedestrian traffic can be directed around the work zones. This temporary traffic control works to keep an effective flow of traffic, while also attempting to create a safe environment for construction workers. This is a tall order as the US Dept of Transportation estimates more than 12 billion vehicle miles of travel have been through active work zones during the year 2001. A side effect of this traffic volume, put into perspective based on 2008 Statistics, looks like this:

One work zone fatality every 10 hours (2.3 a day)
One work zone injury every 13 minutes (110 a day)

By their very nature, work zones can present motorists with unexpected and hazardous driving situations. And with $27.5 billion coming from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, specifically allocated toward highway and bridge construction projects, these statistics are likely to appear grimmer in the future.

Crashes in highway work zones can be more complicated to analyze than non-work zone crashes. In addition to traditional accident reconstruction methods (speed and velocity determination, skid, gouge mark, debris and crush analysis, etc), all the parties involved in the Temporary Traffic Control, along with their scope and responsibilities must also be considered. As construction sites are in a constant state of change, this can be problematic.

Not only do the engineers at CED Technologies have expertise in accident reconstruction, but they also have the experience and knowledge to interpret the standards put forth by organizations such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the guidelines in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) as they pertain to work zone accidents.

For more information on CED experts please contact one of our case managers at casemanager@cedtechnologies.com or on the web at www.cedtechnologies.com .