Missouri Department of Transportation officials are reminding drivers that summer may be winding down, but road and bridge construction is not.
In a MoDOT press release, officials noted construction and maintenance season stretches for as long as the weather holds and doesn't typically die down until sometime in November.
Ed Hassinger, MoDOT deputy director and chief engineer, said crashes in work zones continue to occur despite the department's efforts to alert motorists to upcoming work zones through signs, lighting, public information and other tools. So far this year, there have been 113 work zone crashes that have resulted in nine fatalities. All of the fatalities were motorists.
"Just a few days ago, a driver struck one of our truck-mounted attenuators that was being used to alert drivers to a slow-moving striping train," Hassinger said. "Fortunately, no one was seriously hurt, but crashes don't always end that way."
A truck-mounted attenuator or TMA, also known as a crash cushion, is a device intended to reduce the damage to structures, vehicles and motorists resulting from a collision. Despite their large, lighted-arrow presence on the back of multi-ton trucks, Hassinger said, TMAs are being hit at "an alarming rate."
"In the past four years, motorists have struck more than 100 TMAs in MoDOT work zones, resulting in many injuries to MoDOT workers," he said. "The leading cause of these crashes is distracted driving."