Distracted driving is putting road workers at risk argues insurer

Published: August 1, 2019

Updated: September 1, 2019

Author: Luke Jones

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Sun, relaxation, and vacation are all part of the summer months. However, when traveling to destinations this summer, Canadians have to get used to road construction. Warmer months allow road works to be more manageable, so Canada’s roads become filed with construction projects. Often, construction workers are most at risk from disaster driving.

As many as 75% of Canadians admit to being distracted when driving during the last six months. Workers operating on or close to roads are put at extra risk by drivers not paying attention to the road.

“In road construction, workers are sometimes so close to the actual passing traffic that any distracted driving is just an accentuated risk,” said Tim McGrath (pictured above), field director for risk control and construction at Travelers. “The US Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that transportation incidents are the second-leading cause of death among construction workers, and in the period of 2011 to 2016, there was over 3,300 people killed in work zone crashes, with distracted driving being responsible for at least 500 of those.”

Increased traffic and construction works during the summer months put workers are more risk. That said, it is not just distracted driving that’s the problem as other road infractions also cause danger

“It’s interesting that statistics show most people speed up in work zones, and that’s typically because when they see that orange sign, they think that there’s a delay and they want to get through it as fast as possible,” said McGrath. “Public service messaging, and general education and awareness about the need to slow down in work zones and then eliminate the distraction is probably one of the most important things we can do.”