Highway and roadway construction can be very dangerous for both those who are working the construction and those who are driving around it. According to the United States Occupational Safety & Health Administration, (OSHA)  the construction industry is one of the most dangerous workplaces. More than 4,100 construction workers died in 2013 while thousands more suffered severe injuries. Many of these injuries were caused by falls, dropped objects, or electrocution.
The risk to construction workers includes road crews and construction of highways, freeways, and surface streets. Road construction crews face the added danger of working close to passing traffic that presents the risk of deadly collisions and the danger of being hurt by a nearby car accident.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) reported more than 87,000 traffic-related accidents taking place in road work zones annually.  Many of these accidents not only resulted in injuries to construction workers but also to the motorists who were involved. Of the more than 37,000 work zone accident-related injuries reported by the FHWA, many were passing motorists.
Negligent drivers can injure construction workers
When workers are present, passing traffic has the responsibility to drive safely to avoid injury to the road crews. To help protect workers, the state often imposes stricter speed limits, yield requirements, passing limitations, and more while in a work zone. Drivers are expected to comply with anyone directing traffic through a construction zone.
In addition to facing greater penalties in traffic court, drivers who fail to follow the rules of the road and injure workers should be held responsible for the worker's damages. Construction workers can face serious injuries and death when struck by negligent drivers passing through a construction zone.
Negligently planned or poorly executed construction zones can cause car accidents
Construction zones are hazardous to both the workers and passing motorists. As a result, construction work zones must be properly planned to protect both the workers and those on the road. Construction companies have an obligation to properly implement the construction work zone safety plan. For example, construction zone plans may need to require:
- Posting signs far enough in advance to warn motorists of conditions such as slower speed limits, lane closures, detours, potential slowing or stopping of traffic ahead, and uneven pavement.
- Lane closures, if necessary, to protect motorists from machinery and workers from passing cars.
- Someone directing traffic who is properly trained and dressed in safety gear and clothing.
- Heavy machinery be parked far enough from traffic when not in use and operated far enough from passing traffic to be safe for all involved.
- Keep all debris, equipment, and tools out of any lanes that are open to traffic.
When safety rules are not followed by either drivers or construction companies, worker and those on the road can be hurt. If you have been injured in a car crash in a construction zone, contact Chelsie King Garza.