Without workplace safe zone protection, Illinois roadway workers are at high risk of injury and death from car accidents. Every year, hundreds of roadway workers suffer serious workplace injuries and file injury claims with a workers’ compensation attorney.
Roadway Workplace Accidents
Each year over 20,000 workers are injured nationwide in roadway workplace zones. The leading cause of roadside-related injuries and fatalities is objects and vehicles striking workers. Crushing accidents, specifically being pinned by a vehicle, are the third leading cause of roadway accidents and injuries, followed by runover and backover accidents and collisions between vehicles. In 2011, there were 590 fatalities. In 2014, that number rose to 669, approximately two deaths per day.
Public utility workers, construction workers, and highway workers are especially vulnerable to on-the-job injuries and fatalities caused by roadway accidents. Recently, a public works employee in Crystal Lakes died when he was pinned between a construction trailer and an SUV. In 2015, over 40 percent of roadway construction workers reported that their construction work zones had been hit by a motor vehicle during the year.
Safe Zone Protection
The Federal Highway Administration is concerned about the rising numbers of injuries and fatalities for roadway workers across the country. To prevent accidents and injury claims through a workers’ compensation attorney, they have developed the National Highway Work Zone Safety Program to enhance traffic operation and safety within roadway work zones. Officials have launched a new national outreach campaign that will feature radio ads in dozens of cities to urge motorists to slow down and stay alert while driving through highway work zones. The Federal Highway Administration has created safety tips for drivers approaching roadway work zones:
- Keep Car Headlights On – Keep headlights on to increase visibility for roadway workers and other drivers.
- Stay Alert – Pay attention to the road. Watch brake lights on vehicles ahead and be prepared to react quickly to surrounding traffic.
- Minimize Distractions – Avoid using a cell phone, changing the radio station, eating or drinking, or other distractions that can impact concentration.
- Obey Speed Limits – Slow down to posted speed limits, as roadway workers may be working just a few feet away from traffic lanes.
- Merge Safely – Merge safely into the proper lane before lane closures occur. Be aware that traffic patterns can change daily in roadway work zones.
- Follow Instructions – Follow all sign and flagger instructions in roadway work zones to prevent accidents and injuries.