Roadway work zones are dangerous sites for both motorists and the workers repairing infrastructure. Roadway work is an important job creator and helps keep streets in good condition, but this type of construction and repair work does mean traffic congestion, traffic diversion, and, all too often, Miami car accidents and truck accidents.
According to the Federal Highway Administration, fatal traffic accidents in construction and roadway work areas declined from 716 to 667 between 2008 and 2009. However, Florida – along with California and Texas – still lead the nation when it comes to traffic accident fatalities in these zones. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 101 workers were killed in work zones in 2008. In 2009, that number was 116 and in 2010 it was 103. Florida ranked second in the nation when it came to workers killed in work zones. Of work zone worker deaths in 2010, traffic and transportation accidents were responsible for 72% of worker fatalities.
Between 2003 and 2007, 639 US workers were killed on roadway construction sites. During the same years, there were 8,103 fatalities in the larger construction industry. About half of the roadway construction worker deaths were caused by a vehicle or construction equipment striking a worker.
Obviously, more needs to be done to prevent these types of Miami workplace accidents. There are many things that drivers can do to prevent accidents in construction and roadwork zones:
1) Listen to traffic reports if you will be driving and try to avoid roadwork zones if it is possible to do so. In many cases, you can avoid the traffic – and the possibility of a collision – simply by avoiding the construction site entirely. You will be more likely to arrive at your destination on time relaxed, too.
2) If you do need to pass through a roadwork zone, slow down and obey all signs. Slowing down is important because it is the only way to ensure that you see visual cues on time and can respond in time to avoid a Miami pedestrian accident or car accident. Keep in mind that there will be obstacles, workers, and traffic in the area, and pedestrians and vehicles may be unpredictable in construction zones. Workers may walk out between cars, for example, or trucks working on site may back up without warning. Slowing down and preparing yourself for the unexpected reduces your risk of an accident.
3) Never driver distracted or under the influence. You need to be able to focus fully on the road in front of you. Any distractions – including passengers, music, or a mobile device – can be deadly in a workplace zone. One of the most common distractions at a roadwork site is the site itself. Try to resist checking out the work, as curiosity and rubbernecking often cause accidents at roadway work sites.
If you have been injured in a Miami traffic accident, contact the Flaxman Law Group to schedule a free, no obligation consultation. You can speak with our legal team to discuss your case, your options, and your rights so that you can make an educated decision about your situation.