At any given time there are more than 150 major road work zones across North Carolina, according to state transportation officials. These work zones are not only on major highways but also on secondary roads and North Carolina routes. When drivers approach a work zone, it is imperative that they slow down and pay close attention to the road to ensure construction workers’ safety. When they fail to do so, tragic construction workers’ accidents can take place.
In 2013 alone, there were 1700 workers injured and 13 killed in motor vehicle accidents that took place in construction zones, according to an article published in The News Herald. Despite reminders to drive carefully and awareness campaigns launched during National Work Zone Awareness week earlier in the year, four out of five construction worker’s accidents in work zones involve motorists. More than half of the accidents that take place are because drivers are not paying attention or are speeding. According to some reports, more than 100 drivers were ticketed for speeding in one work zone.
According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation, there is a $250 fine for speeding in a work zone. This monetary fine, however, does not take into account the potential for ruining not only a construction worker’s life in an accident but also the lives of their loved ones.
Employers may try to reduce construction workers’ injuries by putting up barriers in a work zone and posting altered speed limits, but it is still possible that work accidents take place. When a construction worker is injured or is killed during the course of their employment, they or their loved ones may be able to file a workers’ compensation claim to recover medical costs or lost wages.