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Autonomous technology could make road work safer

Road workers in Louisiana perform their work in a very hazardous environment. As motorists pass by, there is always the potential for a fast-moving vehicle to hit a crew member. To mitigate this danger, road crews place arrow boards and warning signs along the road leading up to a work site.

A company called Royal Truck & Equipment has announced that it has a safety tool that can be used to prevent accidents from taking place at work sites. It has designed an autonomous truck-mounted attenuator, a tool that can serve as a barrier between an out-of-control vehicle and road workers. According to a report from ABC News, regular attenuators have already saved lives.

In a typical roadwork site, a safety barrier in the form of a manned truck-mounted attenuator is set up in between workers and approaching vehicles. If a vehicle swerves toward the work site, the attenuator cushions the impact and redirects the out-of-control vehicle away from the work site. The autonomous truck-mounted attenuator will make the safety barrier at a roadwork site even safer by eliminating the need for the truck-mounted attenuator to be manned by a truck driver.

Bureau of Labor Statistics data showed that 49 road workers died after being hit by moving vehicles in 2014. During the same year, there were likely many more road workers seriously injured by moving vehicles as they performed work along the nation's roads and highways. A person who has been injured while doing road work may pursue financial compensation by filing a workers' compensation claim. An attorney can often be of assistance during the process.

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