Highway work zones are dangerous for both drivers and construction workers. While Maryland is not ranked in the top three states for fatalities involving highway work zone accidents, drivers and workers need to be aware that fatalities too often occur in the state as well.
Road work zones are riddled with barrels and signs to warn drivers about construction coming up and to guide them safely around the workers who repair and build bridges, highways and other roads. The number of road maintenance and construction worker fatalities combined reached a peak of 1,095 in 2003 but declined in 2012 to 609. Work zone crashes caused the deaths of eight workers in Maryland in 2013, and four of them were driving or riding as passengers through construction sites.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 101 construction workers died across the country in road work zones in 2008. While the number of deaths increased every year to 133 in 2012, the toll fell in 2013 to 105. Traffic collisions were the cause of 69 work zone fatalities in 2013. Of those collisions, 48 involved vehicles hitting pedestrian workers, 27 of which involved vehicles moving in reverse. Of the 2013 road construction worker deaths, 10 percent occurred in the government sector.
Compensation may be available to the families of people who die in construction accidents. Workers’ compensation law provides funeral reimbursement and death benefits to the dependents of eligible workers who are fatally injured on the job. Family members might wish to consult with attorneys who have experience in workers’ compensation matters in order to ensure that the claims are filed in a timely manner and contain all of the information that is required.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Highway Work Zone Safety”, accessed on Jan. 11, 2015
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