With the huge number of road accidents being reported around the country on a daily basis, roadways, highways and interstates are often considered some of the most dangerous places to work. Roadways workers, who build, maintain and repair roads are at a constant risk of injury and death from vehicles plying on those roads. The risks are the highest for public utility workers, construction workers, and others who keep the roadways and sidewalks fully operational. In this post, St. Louis work injury lawyer will talk about the risks these worker face while working beside a roadway.
According to 2014 statistics, car accidents all over the United States caused 669 fatalities among roadway workers. This alarming number indicates that about 2 fatal accidents occur on the roads every day. Moreover, this rate has been steadily increasing since 2011, when the number was about 590 fatalities per year. About 80 deaths were caused by large vehicles like SUV’s and pick-up trucks between 2011 and 2014.
Workers face several risks in the work zones such as the danger of being crushed by or pinned down by high speed heavy vehicles. These crushing accidents are the third leading cause of work zone fatalities, with about 14% fatalities being caused by collision accidents and 48% caused by run-over or back-over accidents.
How location and time affects the risk
The location of a roadways worksite and the time the construction work is in progress greatly affects the fatality and accident rate. Usually, rural, arterial interstates and roadways, that are often narrow without much room for plying vehicles and workmen, have higher fatality rates. This is largely due to the higher speeds at which people drive their vehicles. Rural interstates have a 19% fatality rate and rural roadways have a 25% fatality rate.
Another important factor for high accident and fatality rates for roadways workmen is that these workmen often have to navigate buildings and obstacles, which makes them unaware of oncoming traffic. Around 19% fatalities occur on urban interstates and freeways.
Time also plays an important role in the frequency and severity of the accident. The visibility is low for drivers and construction workers who work during the early morning hours, in the evenings, at night, or in inclement weather. These factors, depending on the density of the traffic, can also affect the rate of accident and fatality.
Types of injury risks face by roadway workers
While not all work zone accidents lead to worker fatalities, but most of them cause serious injuries.
- 2.5 percent of work zone accident injuries are incapacitating
- 9.5 percent are non-capacitating requiring extensive treatment
- 15% accidents cause minor injuries like lacerations, minor injuries and broken bones, and non-life threatening injuries.
Such injuries often lead to loss of wages due to absence from work during treatment and recovery period. In addition to these, the cost of medical treatment could be high, especially in cases where the injuries are more severe.
It is important that the injured workers report their injuries promptly and seek workers compensation benefits. An experienced St. Louis workers compensation lawyer can help navigate the system and get the benefits you deserve.