Worker Injuries In Road Construction Zones

Worker Injuries In Road Construction Zones

April 16, 2018 | By O'Connor Acciani & Levy
Worker Injuries In Road Construction Zones

Road construction zones are dangerous places for workers – in 2015 and 2016, 273 workers were killed in road construction sites, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Worker deaths and injuries in construction zones are often caused by reckless drivers who do not slow down or take other precautions. If you were injured while working in a road construction zone and have filed a workers' compensation claim, the experienced Cincinnati workers' compensation lawyers at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy may be able to help you pursue the compensation you deserve. We can review your situation in a free, no obligation legal consultation to find out how we can help you.

How Common Are Work Zone Accidents?

In 2015 alone, there were 96,626 motor vehicle crashes in construction zones, a 7.8 percent increase compared to 2014, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics on work zone crashes. This means there was approximately one road construction zone accident every 5.4 minutes. On a daily basis, approximately 70 of these crashes resulted in at least one injury. Work zone accidents resulted in 130 worker deaths in 2015. Each year, these types of deaths account for between 1.5 percent to 3 percent of the total number of workplace fatalities. According to 2014 statistics from the NHTSA, 65 percent of fatal work zone crashes occurred in the day time. These accidents were also more likely to occur in the middle of the week than the beginning or end.

Causes Of Road Construction Zone Accidents

Some of the most common causes of construction zone accidents include:

Speeding

The Federal Highway Administration found that speeding was involved in 28 percent of fatal construction zone accidents in 2014. Workers are already at risk of being hit by passing cars, but speeding increases the risk because drivers have less time to react to prevent an accident. This is why it is so important for drivers to obey reduced speed limits in road construction zones.

Distracted Driving

Some drivers do not realize they are traveling through a construction zone because they are texting and driving, talking to occupants in the vehicle or taking part in other forms of distracted driving. This is particularly dangerous when there are large, slow-moving vehicles that could easily come into the driver’s path. If the driver is not paying attention, he or she can wind up colliding with these vehicles, possibly injuring their occupants.

Disobeying Road Signs Or Signals

There are often signs or signals near construction sites advising drivers to take certain actions to stay safe, such as using caution, slowing down or taking a detour because a section of the road is closed off. In some cases, construction workers use flags to direct drivers where to go. Unfortunately, drivers often disregard these directions or fail to see them because they are not paying attention, which increases the risk of an accident.

Alcohol Use

Alcohol use was a factor in about one-quarter of fatal construction zone accidents in 2014, according to NHTSA statistics. Alcohol use can impair judgment, delay reactions and lower inhibitions so that drivers are more likely to engage in risky behaviors like speeding or disobeying road signs.

Merging Issues

Road construction zones are often set up on sections of the road where cars are merging at high speed. In some cases, lanes have been blocked off and the width of the remaining lanes have been reduced. If motorists wait too late to merge or are driving too fast at the time of merging, they may unintentionally hit a construction worker.

Common Injuries To Road Construction Workers

Road construction workers may suffer from serious injuries when they are hit by motorists, including:
  • Fractures
  • Traumatic head injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Concussions
  • Paralysis
  • Amputation
Drivers must be extra cautious when driving through construction zones to ensure the safety of others on the roadway, including road construction workers. If you were injured in a construction zone accident, you may be able to file a workers' compensation claim. However, it is important that you discuss your claim with an experienced lawyer so you understand all of your rights and legal options. The attorneys at our firm have helped many workers recover compensation for the damages they have suffered. We can discuss your claim during a free initial consultation. We work on contingency, so you only pay us attorneys’ fees if we successfully help you recover compensation.