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MoDOT urges caution on roadways, work zones following crash

MoDOT and Safety experts warn drivers of the dangers of distracted driving.

Posted: Sep 11, 2019 7:33 PM
Updated: Sep 12, 2019 9:20 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The Missouri Department of Transportation is speaking out after a car crash involving one of their vehicles. 

The incident happened Tuesday afternoon when a car struck the side of a MoDOT vehicle after failing to yield according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.  

Officials with MoDOT said the vehicle was striping the road at a slow speed when the accident happened. 

"When we get out and stripe on any roadway, we have to travel about 8 to 11 miles per hour," Tonya Lohman, MoDOT said. 

Officials stressed the importance for driver's awareness behind the wheel, the department said incidents like these are common, and they blame distracted driving.

"[Our trucks] get hit all the time," Lohman said. "People are just not paying attention when they’re out there on the roads."

Safety experts said distracted driving is an issue across the state. 

"Inattention continues to be the number one cause of car crashed in the state of Missouri year in and year out," Sheldon Lyons St. Joseph Safety Council said. 

MoDOT officials said distracted driving is a costly problem in both time and resources and when a truck is hit the process to replace it can be challenging.

"We’re going to have to go and find another one and borrow it from another unit," Lohman said. "...or we have to order another one which may take two or three weeks."

Despite the inconvenience, MoDOT Officials and safety experts say their happy no one was seriously hurt in the crash and they urge drivers to their attention where it belongs.

"Put the devices away, try to organize your thoughts and be ready to drive," Lohman said. 

Safety experts said drivers must resist the urge to multitask when behind the wheel, they suggest using smartphone apps to block calls and texts. 

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More hot and humid weather on the way for today with highs back in the upper 90s with some areas reaching triple digits. Use caution when spending time outside because heat index values will once again be in the triple digits for many. A cold front will start to approach our area tonight and stall to our north giving us a few chances for showers and thunderstorms overnight, however this activity will not be widespread. Temperatures will still be above average this weekend with highs in the 90s. A few lingering rain chances will continue this weekend, but much of the weekend will be dry. The cold front will move through the area early next week giving us some much cooler temperatures. High will be back down in the upper 70s and lower 80s to start off next week.
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