Workers whose jobs require them to work beside the roadway run the risk of being run over by an automobile on a daily basis. Each year, hundreds of construction workers, public utility workers, and others tasked with keeping roadways and sidewalks operational are struck by vehicles.
Fatalities in Work ZonesAcross the nation in 2014, roadside workers suffered 669 fatalities caused by vehicular accidents. That is a rate of nearly 2 per day. It is a rate that has been steadily rising since 590 workers were killed in 2011. From 2011 to 2014, 80 fatalities were caused by pickup trucks and SUVs. Most recently, an employee of the Crystal Lakes Public Works Department died when he was pinned between an SUV and a construction trailer located on Miller Road. Crushing accidents, specifically being pinned by a vehicle, is the third leading cause of work zone fatalities. This cause of death is preceded by collisions between vehicles (14%) and runovers/backovers (48%).
Location & Time Affect Roadside Risk25% of fatal accidents occur on rural, arterial roadways, and 19% occur on rural interstates. These areas often have higher speeds and less room for both vehicles and construction workers to maneuver.
19% of fatal accidents take place on rural or local roads. Workers in these areas often have to navigate around buildings and other obstacles to do their work. This creates additional hazards such as blind spots that make it harder for them to avoid oncoming traffic.
19% of fatalities occur on urban interstate or freeway systems. These areas often place construction workers in close proximity to vehicles traveling at high speeds. They are particularly dangerous during the evening or inclement weather when lower visibility increases the possibility for an accident.
Daylight hours are more dangerous on every type of roadway with the exception of urban interstates and urban/local roadways, where most fatal accidents occur during the evening hours. This difference is due in part to the amount of traffic and the visibility inherent to these stretches of roadway.
Impact of Injuries
Most work zone accidents do not lead to fatalities, but a large number do lead to injuries. Crystal Lake workers' comp lawyers can help assist clients who need compensation for treatment, lost wages, etc.
2.5% of these work zone-related injuries are incapacitating; 9.5% are non-capacitating but require considerable medical treatment including traction and rehabilitation. Finally, 15% cause minor injuries such as broken bones, lacerations, and other non-life threatening injuries.