ST. LOUIS – Twenty-five MoDOT vehicles have already been hit in 2019 in the St. Louis-area.
That includes the truck-mounted attenuators (TMAs) that protect workers from oncoming traffic, plows, and salt trucks.
Every time one of the TMA trucks is hit, it costs between $25,000 and $30,000 to fix it.
“From the police reports, a majority of them are from distracted driving. Not paying attention,” said Bob Becker, a MoDOT spokesman.
Becker said some of the accidents are because of road conditions due to winter weather but not most of them.
“I believe people see us out there, they can see the big trucks and flashing lights ahead, but they don’t realize we're traveling at 10 miles an hour and the public is traveling 70 miles an hour.”
MoDOT workers Frank Shadwell and Steve Wood have both been hit in recent months while working on Interstate 270.
Wood, who was also hit in 2013 and needed surgery because of it, describes his latest accident on I-270 southbound at the I-44 exit.
“I had just parked, been there 5 minutes and lady and was trying to get off at 44 and she hit the back of me and bounced off and went on her way,” Wood said.
Shadwell described his own brush with death: “A pick-up truck came flying up in our lane and didn’t get out of the way and crashed into the back of the trailer.”
The MoDOT workers were able to walk away but they think about getting hit every time they go on highways.