Now that warm weather is here in Ohio, it not only means that more people will be outside enjoying it, but also that road construction season is here. Interstates, highways and residential areas will undergo construction to repair or even widen roads. In some cases, major projects might begin, causing some major roadways to go down to a single lane. Just like road construction is necessary, safety among those working on the roads is also important. Motor vehicles are constantly traveling by these workers, putting them at risk of being involved in a serious or even fatal construction site accident.
Based on current statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, 96,626 crashes occurred in work zones in 2015. This was an increase of 7.8 percent from 2014, which experienced a 42 percent increase from 2013. Based on this information, a work zone crash occurred every 5.4 minute in 2015.
Data also suggests that every day, 70 work zone accidents occurred in 2015. Of these crashes, at least one resulted in injury. Even more so, each week roughly 12 work zone accidents involving at least one fatality occurred. With regards to severity, around 73 percent of work zone accidents caused only property damage. About 26 percent of work zone crashes involved at least one injury. Finally, about 1 percent of work zone crashes in 2015 involved at least one fatality.
With regards to location, roughly 23 percent of fatal work zone accidents happened on urban interstates while 20 percent occurred on urban arterials. When it comes to the type of crash, 42 percent of fatal work zone crashes were due to rear-end collisions.
When a work zone accident occurs, it is important for the injured worker or the surviving family members of a killed worker to understand their rights. This means considering workers’ compensation, as these benefits could help offset some damages and losses caused by the incident, such as lost wages, medical bills, rehabilitation and even funeral expenses.
Source: ops.fhwa.dot.gov, “Facts and Statistics – Work Zone Safety,” accessed May 13, 2018