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No matter what time of year it is, road construction seems to be a constant presence. Orange signs are everywhere, telling us to slow down or go that way instead of this way. It can add several minutes or even hours to a commute or road trip, which can lead to frustration and a temptation to ignore the warnings. But is the hassle worth a serious car accident?

But construction signs don’t exist merely to make us angry or late for work. The consequences of bypassing “road closed” signs or maintaining a high speed on roads where workers are standing can be deadly, both for drivers and workers. An unfortunate example of this is an accident that happened early Monday morning in Philadelphia.

The Platt Bridge is currently under construction, and there are signs indicating that it’s closed. But police say a driver ignored those signs and tried to cross the bridge anyway. He crashed into a piece of construction equipment, knocking three workers to the bridge deck. The driver suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The construction workers were taken to a hospital with minor, non-life-threatening injuries. Considering the fact that almost 1,400 construction workers die every year due to motor vehicle accidents on highways, the workers at this site are fairly lucky. But a driver lost his life because he disregarded the warning signs.

As tempting as it may be to drive around a sign that says “no thru traffic” or to maintain your speed on a highway lined with orange cones, you’re taking a huge risk. If you’re a driver, you should follow the rules of the road. If you’re a passenger, don’t let the person behind the wheel take risks with your safety. You never know what could happen on the other side of that safety orange sign.

Source: CBS Philly, “Driver Killed In Crash On Platt Bridge,” Al Novack, Feb. 6, 2012