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Fatal Distraction—the Travis Ellis Story…
Most of you may think of the workers at roadway construction and maintenance sites as older persons. And if thinking of them as someone’s dad or mom helps you to be aware of them and drive more safely in their workplace, then that’s good.
But think about this: Many of those workers are young people like you—like your brother, or your classmate, or your best friend.
Travis Ellis was such a young person—son, brother, and friend and classmate to many in high school. He loved life and the outdoors. He enjoyed playing all sports, but especially baseball and golf. And he spent much of his time with his dog, a chocolate lab named Dreamin.
Not long after graduation, he began working for the North Carolina Department of Transportation. Just six days into the job, he was working in the median of US 70 in Wayne County. Wearing a safety vest for visibility and a hard hat for protection, he went about his work.
An approaching motorist decided to write something down on a notepad as he neared the work zone. As he looked away from the road, his inattention to driving caused the car to drift to the left—toward the median. The distraction was brief, but long enough for his car to stray into the work area.
The car struck Travis. He died of his injuries the next day—at age 18, just six days on the job.
Now think about this: Should anything be so important to write down that you stop paying attention to the road—especially while driving through a work zone? Reaching for your burger, changing the tune on the radio or CD player, checking your hair in the mirror, getting something out of the glove box…? Are any of these more important than the life of a road worker—or your passengers’ lives, or your own?
Everywhere you drive, particularly in work zones: STAY FOCUSED. AVOID DISTRACTIONS.
A message from Turning Point: Roadway Work Zone Safety for New Drivers.