TDOT Worker Struck and Killed by Vehicle in Crockett County
A worker with the Tennessee Department of Transportation was killed Wednesday after he was hit by a vehicle while flagging traffic around a construction area on State Route 54.
According to a report by WKRN.com, the accident occurred in Crockett County and marks the second work-related death of a TDOT employee in the past three months. The man was hired by TDOT in 1996 and had worked as a maintenance worker until 2014.
A statement by Governor Bill Haslam says that the accident is a “reminder to all of us of the many state employees who work in dangerous jobs every day to serve our state.” TDOT’s commissioner said that the lives of workers in the organization depend on motorists slowing down, being aware of their surroundings, and minimizing distractions while behind the wheel.
No other TDOT workers were injured during the accident, which remains under investigation by authorities.
A total of 111 workers with TDOT have died in work-related accidents on highways and interstates throughout the state since 1948.
Safe Driving Tips for Construction Zones
Speed limits are reduced and fines are significantly increased in construction and work zones to help protect workers from the dangers they face every day. Although there are often barriers, cones, flashing signs, and other markers to alert drivers of the presence of workers, TDOT and other road work employees still face significant dangers when working near high-speed traffic.
To do your part in reducing the risks that TDOT and other road construction workers face, do your best to follow these safe driving tips from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration website:
- Minimize distractions
Distracted driving is an epidemic in the United States and is just as dangerous as driving while intoxicated or impaired. Keep your eyes, ears, and attention on the roadway at all times and never use a cell phone for texting, talking, or navigating while your vehicle is in motion. If you need to look up directions, send a text, or make a call, pull over to a safe place on the side of the road.
- Stay on the lookout for road signs and lane changes
Construction areas may feature sudden lane changes, lane closures, and winding paths that snake through a road work site. Be prepared to slow down, stop, or merge lanes at any moment as you pass through a construction zone and pay attention to signage in the area to avoid abrupt maneuvers or mergers.
- Obey instructions from roadside flaggers and traffic directors
If you see a worker with a flag or stop sign, immediately reduce your speed and be prepared to follow his or her directions as you approach the location. Always come to a complete stop if you see a handheld stop sign, and move in the direction where the flagger motions for your vehicle to travel.
- Watch out for construction vehicles entering and exiting work sites
Dump trucks, concrete mixers, backhoes, and other industrial vehicles and equipment may frequently enter and exit road construction areas. Be prepared to slow down or stop if you see these vehicles in the area as you approach. Many industrial vehicles have large blind spots, so never assume that the driver can see you.
- Keep your speed at or below the posted limit
Speed limits in construction zones are often significantly lower than the speed limits in the areas just before and after them. Speed can be deadly for road workers, as drivers are more likely to lose control while navigating their vehicles through tight spaces where workers are present while traveling at high speeds. In addition to reducing your risk of causing an accident, lowering your speed will also prevent you from getting a ticket with a significantly increased fine.
Matt Hardin Law’s team of Nashville auto accident attorneys know that interstate, highway, and other roadway workers put their lives on the line every day when they work near traffic. The presence of safety barriers, barrels, cones, signage, and increased speed limit enforcement can help reduce their risks, but it’s up to drivers to follow the rules of the road to make their jobs safer.
Road workers aren’t the only people who are in danger of being injured in roadside accidents, as stranded drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists also face risks. If you or someone you love was injured in an accident caused by a negligent driver, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses.
Dial (615) 200-1111 or complete a free online consultation form, and let our legal team fight for your rights today.