Drivers who pass work zones often ignore the signs, arrows and warnings that they should slow down for everyone’s benefit. Many are distracted. Others are driving at excessive speed. With the potential for injury and death, National Work Zone Safety Awareness Week was scheduled for a work week in April. Despite this noble endeavor, it is important for workers to know their options if they are unfortunate enough to be hurt when employed in a work zone.
ODOT hopes drivers will be more vigilant about work zones
The Ohio Department of Transportation is using the campaign as a reminder to drivers as to the damage that can be done if there is a crash. People are not always prepared to change lanes, slow down and take the necessary precautions that are part of passing a work zone.
In many cases, drivers also violate the Move Over Law where it is required to change lanes for crews on the road. If there is no room to do so, drivers must at least reduce their speed. Road workers have lamented the possibility of auto accidents as they go about their duties.
Anecdotal evidence from veteran road workers say many drivers simply ignore them and drive as if they are not there.
In 2022, Ohio had more than 4,600 accidents in work zones. Twenty-one included a fatality. The most recent count for 2023 has had 534 work zone accidents. Of those, 27 crews were hit.
Know what to do after a work zone accident
These accidents can be viewed in a crossover perspective of being work-related injuries and fatalities and those that come about due to a motor vehicle accident. With these types of personal injury incidents, those who were hurt will need to address a litany of concerns.
They could have massive hospital expenses, the inability to work meaning lost income, long-term problems returning to their previous condition and other challenges. In many cases, they need advice with what steps to take when seeking workers’ compensation and holding drivers accountable.