According to data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a total of 1,079 people were killed during 2001 in work-zone accidents. Compared to 2000 figures, it marks an increase of 53 deaths.
Texas led the nation in 2001 roadway fatalities with 140, followed by California (112), Georgia (82), Florida (56) and Maryland (53).
Over the past five years, work-zone-related fatalities have increase 65%.
"We are deeply concerned about the growing number of deaths of motorists and highway workers in the nation's roadway construction zones," American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) President and CEO Pete Ruane said. The data is posted at the National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse, which is managed by ARTBA's Transportation Development Foundation and housed at the Texas Transportation Institute. "It's a very serious public health issue. On average, three people die in road construction sites every day. This is unacceptable."
In its 72-page report titled "Blueprint for Reauthorization," ARTBA has called on Congress to enact policies that improve operational safety in roadway construction zones with special focus on nighttime work, allowing states greater flexibility in using federal work-zone funds and increasing the federal government's role in work-zone safety initiatives.
A state-by-state breakdown of work-zone-related fatalities can be accessed through the Clearinghouse via the Internet at wzsafety.tamu.edu or via phone at 888/447-5556.