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Michael J. Duber and Brandon T. Duber

Ohio drivers ignoring laws raises risk of road worker injuries

Dec 30, 2021 |

In Ohio, workers who are stationed on the side of the road for any reason are inherently vulnerable to injuries and death in an accident. The danger is a growing concern for administrators, legislators and law enforcement. With that, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is again emphasizing the need for drivers to follow the Move Over law and to give roadside workers room to do their jobs without fear of a vehicle crashing into them.

Workers in jeopardy

Even as drivers are warned that they must reduce their speed and move to let road workers do their jobs, there are still a troubling number of accidents with worker injuries and even death. The press secretary for ODOT laments the potential for injury and death that roadside workers, emergency crews and first responders must face because drivers refuse to follow the law. According to him, there has been a total of 162 ODOT workers who have lost their lives. Some of these fatalities date back to the early part of the 20th Century. Today, the problem is worse than ever. In 2021 alone, 141 crews were involved in an accident.

Distraction is a primary concern with drivers texting, using social media and watching movies while driving. Other catalysts include speeding, driving under the influence and recklessness. Recently, crews who were tasked with litter cleanup on the side of I-271 had a close call as a Ford F-250 hit two ODOT vehicles. One worker was hurt. Even as ODOT takes precautions by using a truck to serve as a shield for other trucks and workers, the potential for injury remains significant. Drivers are expected to move over when they see these vehicles on the side of the road. If that is not possible, they need to reduce their speed.

Get help with your benefits

Anyone whose job requires that they place themselves in harm’s way will run the risk of suffering workplace injuries. Workers’ compensation benefits are imperative to give the injured person the freedom to return to full health. These types of work accidents can leave the worker with broken bones, torn muscles, brain trauma, spinal cord damage, scars, internal injuries and more. In a worst-case scenario, there will be a fatality. To pursue compensation, it is useful for road workers, first responders and anyone else stationed on the side of the road to know how to pursue the maximum in benefits. Having advice from the start is key and can help with filing a successful claim.