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The Dangers of Construction Work Zones on Roads

According to statistics collected and published by the United States Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA),[1] which is a division of the Department of Labor, the construction industry is one of the most dangerous when it comes to accidents and injuries. More than 4,100 deaths among construction workers were reported in 2013 alone, while thousands more suffered severe injuries on the job. Many of these injuries were caused by falls, falling objects, electrocutions, and more. The risk for serious accidents and injuries only increase when a construction worker is assigned to a project with a road crew. Road construction crews face the added danger of working in the close vicinity of passing traffic that presents the risk of serious or even deadly collisions.

As part of the United States Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) gathers data[2] on the many different types of motor vehicle collisions that occur on the highways. In one year, the FHWA reported more than 87,000 traffic-related accidents taking place in road work zones. Many of these accidents not only resulted in injuries to construction workers but also to the motorists who were involved. Of the more than 37,000 work zone accident-related injuries reported by the FHWA, many were passing motorists.

Negligent motorists can injure construction workers

When workers are present, passing traffic has the responsibility to drive in a reasonably safe manner to avoid injury to the road crews. To enhance the safety or workers, the state often imposes stricter speed limits, yield requirements, passing limitations, and more while in a work zone. Drivers are also expected to fully comply with anyone directing traffic through a construction zone. Any driver who violate these enhanced laws may also face substantially enhanced penalties. For example, Florida law[3] allows for twice the amount of an imposed fine for a speeding ticket that occurred in a road work zone.

In addition to facing greater penalties in traffic court, any driver that violates a traffic law or otherwise drives negligently while in a work zone can cause accidents and serious injuries to workers. In such cases, the negligent driver should be held liable for all of the resulting injuries and losses in civil court.

Negligent construction workers can also cause collisions

Motorists are not the only ones who can cause collisions in work zones. Construction zones on roadways can present many hazards and the work crews have a legal duty to take certain precautions to avoid collisions due to these hazards. For example, workers should always do the following when applicable:

  • Post adequate signs far enough in advance to warn motorists of conditions such as slower speed limits, lane closures, detours, potential slowing or stopping of traffic ahead, uneven pavement, and more.
  • Pay proper attention when directing traffic and be properly trained to do so.
  • Make sure to operate all heavy machinery and vehicles in a safe manner so as to not disturb the traffic.
  • Keep all debris, objects, and tools out of any lanes that are open to traffic.
  • Make sure to clear all tools, vehicles, and anything else out of traffic lanes and properly secure the work zone for after-hours.

If a construction crew fails to take proper precautions and an auto accident happens as a result, the construction company should be held liable for the negligent acts of its workers.

Call an experienced and skilled Clearwater auto accident lawyer if you have suffered injury in a collision

Anyone who suffers injury due to the negligence of another person deserves to recover for their relevant losses. Though fault in many work zone accidents is attributed to the motorists, construction workers are also completely capable of negligent acts that may cause accidents and injuries. Whoever acted negligently should be held responsible and should fully and fairly compensate any injured victims. At the Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, our auto accident attorneys will thoroughly investigate the cause of your auto accident to identify any negligence that may have occurred. We will work tirelessly to help you obtain full financial recovery, so please call us today for free at 727-451-6900 to discuss your case. 

Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756
727-451-6900

References:

[1]https://www.osha.gov/oshstats/commonstats.html
[2]http://www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/wz/resources/facts_stats/injuries_fatalities.htm
[3]http://flsenate.gov/Laws/Statutes/2011/318.18