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Florida Work Zone Safety

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While nobody enjoys the orange highway cones designating construction is under way, the fact of the matter is, the cones, signage, and barriers are all displayed to keep drivers, and the construction workers– who strive to repair Florida’s network of roads,highways, and bridges– safe. Nonetheless, far too many preventable accidents occur in Florida construction zones every year.

What Statistics Tell Us

Florida has been rated the third worst state in the country for fatal accidents in highway work zones, with 669 fatalities in 2014 alone. That’s nearly two deaths in construction zones every single day. One hundred and nineteen of those fatalities were construction workers. Serious injuries in these work areas approached 500 that same year. The financial impact of these incidents is surprising, at an estimated $4 million for each death and over $40,000 for each injury. OSHA assessments put the cost of worker fatalities and injuries even higher, at $8.7 million and $62,000 respectively. The facts tell us that we all need to work harder to keep these work zones safe.

Factors Related to Work Zone Accidents

Fast or reckless driving is never advisable, particularly in construction zones. Over one in four work zone accidents is connected to driving too fast. Other elements influencing these incidents include:

  • Inebriated driving in one out of every four crashes;
  • Time of day, with over 60 percent of accidents occurring during daylight hours;
  • Day of the week, with mid-week accidents being most frequent;
  • Time of year, with the summer months being the most dangerous.

Particulars of Work Zone Crashes

The most common type of accident cited in work zones are rear-end crashes, totaling over 40 percent of all accidents. Outside of work zones, rear-end collisions make up only 16 percent of accidents. The majority of fatalities involve cars, while about one-fourth involve large trucks.

Risks to Workers

While the majority of worker fatalities are related to construction equipment rollovers and/or back-overs, vehicle collisions comprise the second leading cause of death in work zones.

Do your Part

Everyone who has occasion to drive through a construction zone can do several common sense things to keep everyone safe:

  • Heed speed warnings (remember fines are doubled for speeding in work zones);
  • Stay alert to hazards;
  • Be patient;
  • Avoid tailgating;
  • Keep your cool.

Accident Liability

 Whether you are driving through a construction zone, or are working in one, if you are injured, it is important to determine liability as quickly as possible so as to hold parties accountable. Liability may rest with one or more parties, potentially including:

  • Reckless or negligent drivers;
  • Construction companies that do not abide by safety standards;
  • Government agencies that failed to provide proper warnings for hazards.

Serious and/or fatal accidents have high costs associated with them, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and, in the worst scenarios, funeral costs. At the Law Offices of Robert W. Elton, we pride ourselves on our compassionate, yet aggressive efforts to obtain justice on behalf of accident victims. Contact us in Daytona & Ormond Beach for a confidential consultation today,

Resource:

ops.fhwa.dot.gov/wz/resources/facts_stats/safety.htm