Bringing Attention to Road Worker Hazards
National Work Zone Awareness Week takes place April 8-12 in 2019, and it is a good time to consider the many hazards facing those repairing and constructing roadways. Road construction workers are vulnerable to injuries – and even death – due to motor vehicles driving too fast through the work zone or drivers who are otherwise distracted. The equipment used by road workers is also a common factor in construction accidents.
Road Worker Injuries and Fatalities
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration, there were more than 96,000 crashes in work zones in 2015. That was a whopping 42 percent increase in just a few years. On average, a work zone crash occurs every 5.4 minutes, with 70 people injured daily in such accidents. Every week, at least 12 such crashes result in a fatality. Overall, 73 percent of work zone crashes involve only property damage, while 26.4 percent result in injuries and 0.7 percent result in death. That is approximately 2 percent of all roadway fatalities.
Work Zone Crash Factors
Several factors predominate when it comes to work zone crashes. These include:
- Speeding – 28 percent
- Alcohol or drug use – 25 percent
- Time of year – Most crashes occur in the summer, but that is also prime road work time
- Crash type – 41 percent of work zone accidents are rear end collisions
- Location – 43 percent of crashes occurred on interstates or urban roadways
- Time – Approximately two-thirds of work zone crashes occur during the daytime
Road Worker Fatality Causes
The most common cause of road worker fatalities is not being hit by a motor vehicle traveling through the work zone. That is the second most common cause of such deaths. The primary cause, nearly 50 percent, occurs when road workers are struck by construction equipment, mainly dump trucks. The third more frequent cause of road worker deaths is getting caught between construction equipment and another object.
Road Worker Safety
Those driving in road construction areas must know and pay attention to the laws regarding road worker safety. In Pennsylvania, this includes:
- Driving with headlights on in posted work areas
- Obeying the posted speed limit
- Maintaining a safe distance between vehicles
- Paying attention to road work signs and flaggers
- Avoid any type of distraction, including the use of cellphones
- Do not drink or use drugs before getting behind the wheel
Remain patient as traffic moves slowly through construction areas. The life of a road worker may literally depend on it.
Philadelphia Work Injury Lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. Represent Injured Road Workers
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a road accident while on the job, you need the services of the experienced Philadelphia work injury lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. We will fight for the compensation you deserve as you recover from your injuries or the loss of a family member. Call us today at 888-999-1962 or contact us online to arrange a free consultation. We have offices in Philadelphia, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and Pinehurst, North Carolina to serve clients in Pennsylvania and the surrounding areas.