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  • Writer's pictureTracy Scott

Can you see me now?

Work zone fatalities reached a 16-year high in 2020. Between 2013 and 2020, work zone fatalities increased 45%. In 2020, over 102,000 work zone crashes were estimated to have occured resulting in over 45,000 injuries and 857 fatalities. Economic costs of these crashes have been estimated at over $17.5 billion annually. In 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, work zone crashes & fatalities climbed despite lower traffic volumes. The Governor's Highway Safety Association (GHSA) projected that the U.S. pedestrian fatality rate jumped an unprecedented 21% from 2019. A prior study found that 38% of "Pedestrian" fatalities in work zones were workers (i.e. road construction/maintenance workers, utility workers, and planning/surveying workers). The serious hazards faced by people working on foot on or along our roadways, who are among the most "Vulnerable Road Users", highlights the need for positive protection measures. For the first half of 2021, USDOT estimated another 18.4% surge in traffic fatalities over 2020 and the largest number of traffic fatalities since 2006. In 2021, TxDOT reported that work zone fatalities in fact surged 33%. For the first quarter of 2022, USDOT estimated a record increase in fatalities nationwide. More motorists and road workers are being killed or injured in preventable work zone crashes. In a 2022 survey, most highway contractors (64%) reported crashes into their work zones. In an earlier survey, 89% of highway contractors think positive protection would help improve safety and prevent these horrific crashes. The rising number of accidents, injuries, and fatalities highlight the need for positive protection. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 (IIJA) amends the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) to add protection for "Vulnerable Road Users",which includes road construction workers and people working on foot on or along our roadways. In 2021, USDOT set the value of a single life (VSL) at $11.8 million dollars. California research found a cost benefit for highly mobile barrier of $1.9 million per year, per barrier.

At SECO, we've created a lighted, LED vest that has proven to significantly reduce risk and give drivers plenty of prior visual knowledge to see workers well in advance of entering a work zone. Go to and join our challenge to demonstrate just how important saving lives can be.

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