While we are all so excited for the approach of fall after this hot summer, with fall comes to more road repairs and construction. Some people call it "Orange Barrel Season", named after the numerous brightly colored construction barrels that line our roadways. Thanks to the challenging weather, there may be more repairs than ever on our streets and highways this season. These construction zones are never fun to navigate through, especially when we are in a hurry and lanes are minimized and speed is reduced. Many times these zones contain a dizzying array of those orange barrels, along with flashing lights and signs. In addition, often times lanes are narrow, berms are non-existent, and we may be asked to maneuver into a single lane. To add to the danger, construction workers are often present close to the moving traffic. While many of these workers work directly for the government, others are employed by private contractors in these construction zones. These are dangerous jobs and dangerous areas for drivers as well.
Many times, when workers are present, speeding fines are doubled in these construction zones in an effort to protect them. Just how big of a problem is highway construction safety?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in the five years since 2008, 585 highway workers have lost their lives at roadway construction sites. That is an average of 117 workers per year who are killed while working in these dangerous zones. To put that in perspective, we are made aware of how risky being a police officer is. In 2012, 105 police officers were killed in the line of duty, 25 of those being involved in auto accidents. That makes being a highway construction worker at least as deadly as a being a police officer in this country.
The BLS says that a pedestrian worker was hit by a vehicle in 67% of these fatal accidents. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NOIOSH) investigates each of these deaths, and found that the remaining deaths were caused by workers traveling in the constructions zones themselves or being fatality injured by construction equipment or other causes. NOIOSH also helps facilitate changes in work zones that can increase worker safety. These include everything from larger, brighter signage to how lanes are merged.
The point is that when you are traveling through a construction zone and are faced with a delay, take a breath and slow down. It is understandable that long delays in these construction zones may cause blood pressure to rise. Driving through a gauntlet of signage and barrels is not anyone's idea of a pleasant afternoon. However, by paying closer attention, traveling at a safe speed, and becoming more aware of your circumstances you can keep from being a part of one of these accidents. Highway construction worker safety is something we can all participate in. It can save you a fine and much larger problems.
If you do get involved in a highway construction accident, you should immediately seek the free advice of one of our experienced Philadelphia car accident lawyers. Whether you have suffered an injury or a loved one has been injured, representation is critical. Contact us and let's discuss your situation and options.
The Lassen Law Firm only deducts a low 29% contingency fee, not the standard 40-45% like other firms. We serve ALL of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. We can sign you up over the phone and start working on your case today.
The Lassen Law Firm
1515 Market St #1510
Philadelphia, PA 19102