While driving down California roads in the summer, motorists may commonly come across signs that ask for drivers to slow down their driving speed as they are entering a work zone. Unfortunately, when they don’t adhere to those signs, work zone crashes take place and people end up injured, or even worse, dead.
Work zone crashes have increased in the past couple of years, with 2015 seeing a 7.8 percent increase in crashes from the previous year. There were an estimated 96,626 crashes, representing a crash every 5.4 minutes. At least one injury came out of every 70 crashes a day, and every week, 12 crashes resulted in at least one fatality. Data demonstrates that there is a higher rate of fatalities in work-zone crashes than in non-work zone crashes.
Speeding was a factor in 28 percent of the fatal crashes that took place and more than half of the crashes took place during the daytime. 119 roadway construction workers were lost in 2014 in construction site accidents, up from 105 in 2013. Most of the construction site accidents were attributed to run overs or back overs by dump trucks and getting caught between or struck by construction equipment. Getting hit by a vehicle or mobile equipment was the second most common reason for worker fatalities.
Even if a worker is working in an inherently dangerous workplace, such as a construction site, the employer is still obliged to make the workplace as safe as possible and train employees to deal with the remaining dangers. When this does not happen and a workplace accident causes an injury, injured employees should consider pursuing a workers compensation claim against their employer. Workers’ compensation benefits are often necessary, as an injured worker needs to take time off of work to recover.