Personal Injury Lawyer
Work Zone Ahead signs are common, too often, injuries occur. Work zones incorporate sites for construction, maintenance, or utility work on surface streets or highways. Work zones can be dangerous areas for both drivers and workers, the narrowed lanes with workers close by can be a hazardous combination. Drivers are often frustrated to come upon a construction zone with slowed traffic and potential delays.
Statistics from the Federal Highway Administration reveal that in 2016 there were over 96,000 crashes in work zones. Over 25,000 of those crashes resulted in at least one injured party and 642 crashes resulted in at least one death.
Another way to think about those statistics is that there was a work zone crash in the United States every 5.4 minutes! Each day there are 70 work zone crashes with someone injured, and each week 12 crashes resulting in a fatality.
The workers in these zones step into harm’s way each day when they arrive on the job. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, from 2011 to 2015, 609 workers died as a result of work zone accidents in the United States.
Workers were most frequently struck by automobiles or dump trucks. The three most frequent causes of fatality were workers being run over or backed-over by vehicles or mobile equipment, including dump trucks going in reverse, collisions between vehicles and mobile equipment, and workers caught between or hit by construction equipment and objects.
Almost half of the fatal work zone crashes occur on urban interstates or arterials, but these types of roads only make up 5% of the total roadway network, these are areas with higher volumes of traffic and higher speed limits.
Suggestions for work zone safety include the following:
- Expect the Unexpected: Traffic patterns may be different than usual, speeds may be reduced, and workers can be in the area.
- Slow Down: Always follow the posted speed limit. Speeding is one of the main reasons for work zone crashes.
- Keep a Safe Distance: Keep safe length distances between you and the car in front of you. Rear-end collisions are the number one type of accident in work zones. If possible, move to the lane away from the construction.
- Pay Attention: Follow the posted signs, the signs are out to help drivers safely move through the work zone.
- Obey road crew flaggers: The flagger is keeping track of traffic moving in multiple directions, it is imperative to follow their directions.
- Stay Alert and minimize distractions: Work zones require a driver’s full attention. Avoid changing radio stations, eating, drinking or using a cell phone while in a work zone.
- Keep up with traffic flow: Be sure to merge in accordance with the signs.
Be patient and stay calm: Remember that the workers are improving the road and infrastructure.
When serious injuries occur as a result of a work zone crash a personal injury lawyer Phoenix, AZ trusts should be consulted.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at The Law Office of Paul Englander, PLC for their insight into personal injury cases and work zone injuries.