According to the Boston Herald, almost 900 drivers crashed into work zones on Massachusetts highways and roadways last year. This 35 percent spike has state police concerned. In response, law enforcement is increasing patrol efforts during summer months when deadly work zone wrecks are at their highest.
The Herald report was released following three work zone accidents that occurred over just four days. Each of the three accidents allegedly involved a drunk driver. “I can’t remember a span like this or a bunch like these,” said state police Superintendent Col. Richard McKeon. “It seems like it’s concentrated. It’s obviously come to our attention,” McKeon continued. “We’re going to be out there with enhanced visibility … and we’re going to be looking for any intoxicated drivers.”
In 2015, state police recorded 860 work zone crashes, up from 639 in 2014. So far in 2016, this number is 325, and that doesn’t factor in the majority of the summer season when accidents are at their peak. In addition, a total of 529 work-zone citations were issued last year for reckless driving, compared to just about 370 the year before. This is a staggering increase in a very short period.
Texting and Distracted Driving Likely Play a Role in Crash Increase
According to MassDOT officials, the increase in accidents is not due to an increase in construction projects and road work. Approximately 125 work crews are stationed on Massachusetts roads every day, a number which has remained relatively unchanged in the past few years. Thomas P. Lacek, a crash expert from Pennsylvania, says distracted drivers and sudden lane restrictions are major contributors to work zone crashes. “Lane restrictions are a hassle. You are impeding traffic flow,” Lacek remarked. “What you need to do is give drivers plenty of warning. If they’re still not slowing down, you need to jack up enforcement.
“The problem is not just the lanes going down from three to one, but also people texting, fixing their makeup and reading the paper,” he continued.
Work Detail Cops Save Lives
Lack of supervision may also be to blame. In the Bay State’s recent string of work zone crashes, Thomas O’Day, a father of six, was killed at an Interstate 93 job site. In an eerily foreboding Facebook post from earlier that day, O’Day wrote, “No detail cop’s…awesome.” He added that it was “insane out here (on) 93.”
Altman & Altman, LLP – Boston’s Premier Work Injury Law Firm
If you have been injured in any type of work-related accident, the legal team at Altman & Altman, LLP can help. Our injury lawyers have more than 50 years of experience protecting the rights of Massachusetts workers. If your injury occurred on-the-job, you are likely entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. However, if negligence played a role in the accident, you may be entitled to additional compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and transportation expenses. At Altman & Altman, LLP, we will make sure you understand your rights and options before moving forward. Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.