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Highway construction makes roads safer for drivers

Highways are not known to be the safest place to drive, especially not during previous years in the area near the intersection of northbound Interstate 75 and the Ohio 4 interchange. Some had dubbed the area "Malfunction Junction" because of the many accidents that occurred there. But construction workers were working on the area to make it safer for drivers until last year, when the project was completed.

When working on the project, some workers were likely worried that a construction accident may occur and cause serious injury to them and their co-workers. Though interstate work zones are designed with the safety of workers and drivers in mind, it does not mean that accidents and miscommunications do not happen.

For example, two vehicles drove into a construction lane on I-75 in West Carrollton earlier this summer. Both drivers, within minutes of each other, drove into a huge hole in the highway - one of them lost his life. No construction workers were involved in the crash, but if they were, they would have likely been severely injured.

A spokesperson for the Ohio Department of Transportation said that construction zones in the state are mandated to follow state and federal work safety guidelines. Inspectors from the ODOT often travel work zones to make sure that safety regulations have not been violated. This ensures that workers and drivers are experiencing the construction zone in its safest possible form.

The spokesperson added that the ODOT does everything that it can to make sure that the zones are safe and clear, but the agency cannot do much when it comes to driver behavior and the potential for mistakes that is inherently apparent. That is why drivers are required to travel slower than the regular highway speed limit and why orange construction barrels with reflective tape and flashing lights are used - to limit the number of errors a driver can make while in a construction zone.

Source: Dayton Daily News, "Malfunction Junction crashes down 90%," Dave Larsen, Sept. 6, 2012

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