Tragically, distracted drivers can cause serious injuries and even death to innocent victims on the roadways in Missouri and Illinois. This is especially a concern for the hard-working employees of the Missouri Department of Transportation (DOT) who put their lives at risk to perform necessary maintenance on busy interstates and highways in road work zones. One such road worker was struck just last year in a motor vehicle collision that caused significant damage to the truck that slammed into his DOT vehicle. Fortunately, neither the road worker nor the other driver were injured, but it could have been so much worse.
Statistics show that at least 53 people have lost their lives over the past five years due to motor vehicle accidents in Missouri road work zones. Another 3,000 individuals have been injured in those areas. This has resulted in state officials trying to find more effective methods to slow down drivers in work zones, methods which are much more difficult to ignore. One such method being considered includes that of using Long Range Acoustic Devices, or LRADs.
These devices allow a concentrated beam of sound that can be very loud and high-pitched in frequency to be broadcast in a cone for up to 7 miles in distance. The LRADs being tested for DOT purposes would switch between broadcasting a voice saying, “Slow vehicles ahead” and a series of short, staccato sounds similar to a burglar alarm. According to officials who have tested this system, there was a significant increase in drivers moving away from the closed lane earlier when compared with those who did not hear the warning.
This could result in saved lives and decreased property damage from car accidents in road work zones. Of course, the method is not without controversy, with some raising concerns over the noise and motives for using LRADs. The state of Missouri has decided to research these devices for at least another year, and also plans to educate the public on their use.
Unfortunately, this means that road work zones in the area will likely continue to be dangerous for both road workers and drivers who pay attention to the roads in Missouri and Illinois. If you have been hurt in such a motor vehicle collision, please call us at 1-888-586-7041 to schedule a free consultation. We can help you learn more about your rights under personal injury and wrongful death laws to seek compensation from a negligent driver who may have caused your injuries.
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