Construction worker who has been hit by car explains the dangers of distracted driving
EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - An East Texas construction worker is speaking out after he was hit by a vehicle while on the job.
His crew explains the dangers of working on the highways and what you can do to avoid a potentially fatal accident.
Sometimes, the only thing standing between a construction worker and 40 tons of metal moving 70 miles an hour is a line of bright orange cones.
"It is extremely stressful," said Jeff Williams. a crew leader.
Williams has experienced that terror 1st hand.
"She pulled over into the work zone. I got in front of her doing this, she's still rolling forward…," Williams said.
Williams was clipped in both knees after a driver completely disregarded the extensive amount of "Road work area" signs that are posted on Interstate 20.
"They fuss when we don't go out there and fix the road, but they fuss when we are out there on the roads," Williams said.
Williams said his safety training can only do so much because simply being aware of your surroundings is a matter of life and death.
"We have a very thin line that we have to walk, and if you're not maintaining that situational awareness, it's a life or death situation, said Sarah Hatley, a Texas Department of Transportation supervisor.
TxDOT has reported 361 accidents in the Tyler district in the past year alone; 10 of those were fatal.
"It's important that people really pay attention, even more so than fines or being stopped by the police, there's a potential for traffic crashes to happen," said Sgt. Jean Dark, a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Public Safety.
DPS says when a worker is present at a construction site, the fine of a speeding ticket doubles. Law enforcement officers hope that drivers will finally realize that these men and women in orange have families to drive home to as well.
Tomorrow is the last day of National Work Zone Awareness Week, a time when TxDOT commemorates the lives lost in work zone crashes.
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