Road work often elicits two very different emotions in New Jersey drivers. First, many are pleased for much needed road improvements. Second, many are also upset about the inconvenience of months or even years of ongoing construction. It is the latter opinion that puts so many workers at risk for serious construction accidents.
Construction workers are dying
According to the Department of Transportation, more than 27,000 people were killed in work zone crashes between 1982 and 2017. DOT also recently reported that the average rate of road construction fatalities has been going up over the past several years. Some of the reasons that roadway construction zones are some of the most dangerous and fatal work zones include:
- Driver distraction
- Road condition changes
- Difficult work conditions
Part of the problem is that some drivers do not follow necessary safety rules when driving through construction zones. For example, many fail to pay attention to or heed important signage that may indicate changed speed limits or alternate routes. Increased fines in construction zones are intended to keep drivers from speeding above these posted speed limits, but they are not always effective. Drivers who speed through construction zones are a significant contributor to serious and fatal construction accidents.
As many people in New Jersey rely on public roads to get to work, school and run other errands, construction to maintain those roads is a necessary part of life. The men and women who take on the burden of completing that construction work deserve to feel safe, and yet many are put at risk on a regular basis. Those who have been seriously injured in construction accidents may want to consider applying for workers’ compensation benefits, which can provide invaluable financial support for lost wages and medical bills.