Most drivers take for granted that roads are substantially safe and in a state of good repair. Maintaining the roads in this condition is no easy feat. Transportation agencies across the country are working every day to build, maintain, and repair the transportation network.
Doing this work is dangerous and protecting road workers is of paramount importance. There is a skill and art to setting up work zones to protect workers on roadway construction sites. The work zone needs to protect both workers and drivers from accidents. A typical setup includes four or five distinct areas:
- Advance warning area – as traffic approaches, signs warn motorists that a construction project is ahead
- Transition area – a variety of devices, including signs, cones, and barriers serve to channel traffic away from the usual path so that it moves safely around the work zone
- Buffer area – a space between road traffic and the work zone that may be used to add further separation between traffic and construction workers
- Work area – a protected space where the construction work happens and where workers, equipment, and storage are cordoned off from the rest of the road
- Termination area – after the work area, where cones and barriers ease traffic back to the normal path of traffic
Despite work zone precautions, serious accidents and fatalities occur every day. In a recent year, there were 607 work zone fatal crashes resulting in 669 fatalities. That year there were 12 work zone crashes resulting in at least one fatality every week and 70 work zone crashes resulting in at least one injury every day.
Causes of Work Zone Accidents
Motorists who engage in speeding, distracted driving, driving while impaired, and reckless driving have all caused work zone accidents. Other reasons for these crashes have to do with conditions that cannot be controlled, such as road terrain that limits the line of sight of a driver and bad weather that can limit visibility and increase stopping distances.
Injuries From Inside the Work Zone
Many injuries to road workers involve workers being struck by heavy equipment, which typically has large blind spots. Other injuries occur from exposure to hazards typical of all construction sites, including overhead power lines, tripping hazards, gas lines, and falling objects.
Road construction workers who are injured on the job are generally covered by Workers’ Compensation – a no fault insurance program that is required in South Carolina and all other states except for Texas. State laws vary, but generally require a worker timely report a workplace injury to their employer and comply with other mandates having to do with verifying the nature and extent of the injury and the ability to return to work on a part time or limited capacity.
Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Recover Compensation for Injured Road Workers
If you are a road worker and have been injured on the job, you are likely entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits. Depending on the circumstances, you may be entitled to other compensation as well. For example, you may be entitled to recover from a driver whose negligence caused you to be hit by their vehicle. Contact an experienced Columbia Workers’ Compensation lawyer at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. to discuss your case and evaluate options. Contact us online or call 803-929-3600 or 866-881-8623 today to schedule a free consultation.
We assist injured accident victims and their families across South Carolina, including those in Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.