One of the most dangerous jobs is road construction. It is high-paced, loud, requires heavy and often dangerous machinery, and, like few other jobs, is constantly bombarded with fast-moving cars, SUVs, pickups, and semis. For all of these reasons, work zones are inherently dangerous. If you or a loved one have been injured on the job in a road work zone accident, you may be able to collect compensation for your injuries. Contact an experienced Charlotte, North Carolina workers’ compensation attorney today to learn more about your legal options.
Work Zone Injuries and Fatalities Not Caused by Traffic
While traffic may seem like the biggest threat to road construction workers, there are other factors that cause more injuries and fatalities. The following are the four most common ways in which road workers become injured other than from traffic:
- 35 percent from contact with equipment or other objects;
- 20 percent from slips, falls, or tripping;
- 15 percent from overexertion; and
- 5 percent from exposure to harmful substances.
The following are the two most common ways in which road workers are killed, other than from traffic:
- 48 percent from getting run over or backed over (most frequently by dump trucks); and
- 14 percent from being struck or caught between construction equipment or other objects.
Injuries and Fatalities Caused by Traffic
There were 87,606 crashes in work zones in 2010, accounting for 1.6 percent of total crashes, according to U.S. Department of Transportation. Considering how few miles work zones make up, in terms of total road miles around the country, this is an amazingly high number. Crashes occur due to congestion, distracted drivers, drunk drivers, and impatience. Oftentimes, the congestion that road work creates, and the fact that drivers are sometimes forced to wait, creates a tense atmosphere in which drivers feel obligated to speed through once their turn approaches. While many drivers are courteous and slow down to safe speeds, and move over enough to offer road workers enough space, there are drivers who are willing to risk safety for time. Of all road worker injuries, 12 percent were transportative accidents (caused by traffic) in 2010. Of fatalities, 19 percent were caused by traffic.
Road Work Crash Statistics
In terms of driver fatalities and injuries, of those 87,606 crashes in 2010, 0.6 percent were fatal, 30 percent resulted in injury only, and 69 percent resulted in property damage only. Night versus daytime does not play an important role in the frequency or severity of crashes, surprisingly. The real danger, unfortunately, is not for drivers, it is for road workers. In 2010 there were 37,476 total road work injuries (equalling one injury for every 14 minutes) for both drivers and workers. However, more than 20,000 of those were road workers.
If you were injured on the job in a road work accident, you may be able to collect damages to help pay for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Contact an experienced Charlotte, North Carolina, workers’ compensation attorney today.