An Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) construction worker was recently hit and killed in a work zone by a Grand Marquis driven by a 67-year-old man, according to the Chicago Tribune. The Illinois car accident happened around 8:30 a.m. as the driver took a left-hand turn from Route 47 onto the westbound lanes of Route 14 in Woodstock.
The IDOT worker was transported to Woodstock Centegra Hospital by paramedics from the Woodstock Fire Rescue District. He was later pronounced dead. Charges against the motorists are currently pending. The city is awaiting the results of a drug and alcohol test.
Our attorneys recently reported, on our Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, that a number of state organizations and law enforcement agencies unveiled a National Work Zone Memorial Wall. The Memorial was available for viewing at the Illinois State Fair. The Illinois State Police, the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA) and the Associated General Contractors revealed the memorial to help recognize the employees that have been killed in our state's work zone. The wall also aims to raise awareness about the importance of safe and cautious driving habits within construction areas.
"This unfortunately is a tragic reminder of the dangers of driving through work zones. We'd like to take this time to urge motorists when they're driving through and even approaching work zones to be especially aware and alert because lives truly are at stake," said IDOT spokesman Guy Tridgell.
According to IDOT, there were approximately 1,000 traffic accident fatalities in both 2009 and 2010 in our state. While this number may still seem alarmingly high, this is the lowest-recorded two years since 1921.
IDOT has been focusing much of its efforts on keeping our roadside workers safe. There have been a number of safe-driving campaigns, including "See Orange. Slow Down. Save Lives," to help raise awareness about the dangers that construction workers face in our work zones. The IDOT has also focused on making changes to help keep a safe flow of traffic through these areas. Improvements include automated work zone speed limit enforcement, safety engineering, signing enforcements and infrastructure improvements.
“The National Work Zone Safety Memorial symbolizes the collective efforts and commitment of all states for the ongoing challenge to prevent work zone crashes,” said Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider.
More efforts are needed however to combat the number of fatal traffic accidents that we're seeing in Illinois. As of August 23rd, more than 560 people have died because of car accidents in Illinois.
Many accidents in construction zones occur because drivers are not paying attention. As the speeds and traffic patterns change frequently in these areas, it's important to keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel at all times. It is especially important to curb all distractions when traveling through a work zone. Distracted driving is one of the top causes for car accident-related accidents in the construction industry. We would like to take this time to remind you that Illinois state law prohibits drivers from using a hand-held phone while driving through a construction zone.