MoDOT sees increase in work zone crashes in Kansas City - KCTV5

MoDOT sees increase in work zone crashes in Kansas City

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Drivers are asked to keep in mind that construction season is about to begin, causing more workers to be on area roads. (KCTV5) Drivers are asked to keep in mind that construction season is about to begin, causing more workers to be on area roads. (KCTV5)
LEE'S SUMMIT, MO (KCTV) -

An alarming trend is happening on metro roads.

More drivers are hitting MoDOT workers. In fact, in the last six months, six workers have been hit while in work zones.

In January, a driver slammed into a MoDOT vehicle, sending a worker to the hospital.

And in December, another driver hit a plow, injuring two other MoDOT Workers.

The number one reason MoDOT officials say work zone crashes happen is because of distracted driving, and people looking at their phones instead of paying attention to the road.

“It was scary, it was a scary thing because you don't know, you don't know what the outcome is going to be when you come out of that truck," MoDOT maintenance worker Mike Surber said.

Surber was only on the job for six months when he was hit by a distracted driver.

His crew was patching potholes on U.S. Highway 50 in January. He says he was in the last truck, with lights on, alerting drivers to get over.

"In my mirror, I watched him come up, hit me. I hit my power lights, did everything in my power to try to get him attention,” Surber said as he recounted the crash that landed him in the hospital and on light work duty for two months.

And unfortunately, his story isn't rare.

MoDOT officials say the buffers that stay between traffic and workers to help protect them are hit 25 times a year, and about six times in the Kansas City area.

Most of those accidents are because the driver was distracted.

"I'm hearing from our folks that it's just crazy out there. They see people texting, a lot even looking up from the road for a long period of time,” MoDOT Assistant District Engineer Chris Redline said.

That's why officials are asking drivers to put down their phones.

And work zone crashes are on the rise.

It’s a trend that workers would like to see stopped.

"I have a 3 and a 4-year-old child at home that I want to go home to just like everyone else wants to go home, to their families so please put your phone down,” Surber said.

In 2017, there are 20 major work zones expected to cause delays across Missouri. Officials are asking drivers to slow down and take their time as construction season starts.

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