Despite the orange barrels, flaggers, flashing lights, signs, road markings, reduced speed limits, and even warnings of upcoming roadwork in the local news, the men and women who work on road crews have one of the most dangerous jobs around. Especially as the warm summer months come into full swing, work zones are a regular part of life for drivers. While many, even most, drivers take extra care when driving near work zones, members of road crews across the nation lose their lives or get seriously hurt when something goes wrong behind the wheel of just a single one of the many hundreds of vehicles zipping by them each day.
We are sad to report that this year’s road-work season got off to a tragic start with a fatal wreck on Highway 65, near Clinton, Arkansas. Two members of a road crew were killed, and nearly 20 more were injured, after a logging truck wrecked and spilled its cargo onto a highway worksite. Unfortunately, tragic stories like these are not uncommon, and members of road crews across the nation face potentially fatal risks on the job, including:
- Distracted drivers. Drivers who aren’t paying attention sometimes miss important signage or collide with other vehicles; there are numerous stories of distracted drivers who drive right through barrels and dividers into the heart of work zones.
- Drunk or drugged drivers. Anytime a driver chooses to get behind the wheel under the influence, lives are put at risk. In fatal work-zone accidents, intoxicated drivers are one of the top killers.
- Impatient drivers. Impatient drivers can easily cause accidents that harm road crews by speeding through work zones, trying to squeeze into heavy traffic before a lane closure, or driving aggressively.
- Drivers who refuse to move. In many states, it’s the law to move over for road crews, but many drivers ignore the law, creating too many “close calls” for vulnerable flaggers, work crews, and equipment operators.
- Unexpected problems on the road. The workers who maintain and improve our highways are exposed to all the same dangers of the road as drivers—without the protection of a vehicle when something goes wrong.
Every year, hundreds of road-crew workers are killed—and thousands more are injured—in states across the nation, and they become the innocent victims of reckless drivers, unexpected complications, and tragic wrecks. If you have been hurt in a work-zone accident, or if you have lost someone close to you, don’t allow yourself to be overwhelmed with the legal process that follows. Get real support and real information about your rights by calling or emailing our experienced team today.