A national survey of 550 highway contractors conducted by the Associated General Contractors of America found that 54 percent of them said motor vehicles crashed into their construction work zones during the past year. On top of that, 48 percent of contractors who experienced work zone crashes reported injuries to either motor vehicle operators or passengers, while 24 percent of those crashes involved a driver or passenger fatality.
"There are simply too many cars crashing into too many work zones, putting too many lives at risk," said Ken Kubacki, chair of AGC's highway and transportation division and the western region projects executive for Granite Construction Co., in a statement.
He added that highway work zone crashes also pose a significant risk for construction workers, as 25 percent of them result in injuries to construction workers, while 3 percent of such crashes result in worker fatalities.
Work zone crashes also have a pronounced impact on construction schedules and costs, Kubacki noted, as 53 percent of the contractors polled said that their highway projects had been delayed during the past 12 months due to work zone crashes. He also pointed out that 74 percent of the contractors responding to the survey "feel highway work zone crashes pose a greater risk now compared to a decade ago."
That's why Kubacki said AGC is launching a new targeted mobile advertising campaign designed to reach drivers who "regularly" wend their way through highway work zones, urging them to be careful in roadside construction sites before the start of the traditional summer driving season.
As part of the campaign, drivers who regularly pass through highway work zones in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; St. Louis, Missouri; Birmingham, Alabama and Evansville, Indiana, are being sent mobile advertising with special work zone safety messages.
"We are using targeted technology to urge motorists to slow down and drive with care in highway work zones," Kubacki noted. "We are using technology to make sure one hundred percent of our ads are reaching work zone motorists. Instead of trying to sell something, we are harnessing mobile advertising technology to save as many lives as possible."
He explained that the ads show up only when the driver opens his or her mobile phone and either visits a web browser like Chrome or Safari, or uses an app with advertisements. The campaign is also "crafted" that way to avoid distracting drivers while they are on the road, instead reaching them when they can safely use their phones.
Over the past three weeks since May 24, AGC said over one and half million motorists have seen the ad, while several thousand have clicked on it to view more highway work zone safety tips.
Photo: Tom Saunders / VDOT
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