Road construction in Missouri is now in full swing. While tending to infrastructure needs is an imperative community service, the roadway work zones also pose dangers to drivers and construction crews alike.

Drivers must be alert to changing road conditions and traffic patterns when approaching, and in the midst of, road construction. Their inattention can lead to fatal traffic accidents. In 2015, nine people died in Missouri work zone accidents. Going back to 2010, a total of 61 people lost their lives in Missouri road construction crashes. Of those killed, 16 were Missouri Department of Transportation workers.

Fatal Work Zone Accident Involving a Truck Happens Every Three Days

Given the size and weight of commercial tractor-trailers, the potential threats posed by inattentive and fatigued truckers approaching work zones are particularly troublesome.

According to federal government data, a fatal trucking accident in a work zone occurred every three days in the United States between 2011 and 2013. In 2014 – the most recent reporting year – the number of commercial trucks and buses involved in fatal U.S. work zone accidents increased 27 percent over 2013. The number of deaths jumped 13 percent in that time as well.

And, according to the American Transportation Research Institute, semis are responsible nationally for 30 percent of fatal accidents in work zones that involve two or more vehicles. This compares to 17 percent of multi-vehicle accidents that trucks are involved in elsewhere.

If you assume most of these fatal trucking accidents occur in the dark of night, you would be incorrect. Almost two out of every three fatal work zone crashes that involve a large commercial truck happen during the day.

Congested St. Louis Work Zones in 2016

Because work zones can be dangerous for drivers and road construction crews, MODOT has issued a report that lists the state’s most significant work zone areas for 2016. They include:

  • I-44 in St. Louis, between Murdoch and Kingshighway. One lane will be closed in each direction for the remainder of the year.
  • I-44 and I-55 in the city of St. Louis. Due to bridge repairs, one southbound lane of I-55 will be closed until the end of the year.
  • I-70 in St. Charles County. MODOT will require various lane closures on I-70 through the spring of 2017
  • I-70/I-170 interchange in St. Louis County. Work there will mean lane and ramp closures through the summer of 2017

With this list of congested St. Louis roadway work zones, MODOT also provides tips for safe passage through them, including patience, consistent focus on the roadway, no speeding, and to “expect the unexpected.”

Common-sense tips to be sure, but as Missouri and national statistics illustrate, not all truckers follow them when in work zones.

If you were seriously injured or had a loved one killed in a catastrophic work zone accident that involved a large commercial vehicle, an experienced trucking accident attorney can determine who is liable and pursue just compensation for your loss.

The choice of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertising.