Road construction workers wear bright, reflective vests for a reason. Working on a construction site is always dangerous; doing it with thousands of car cruising by, sometimes just a few feet away, pushes the risk level up a notch.
Below are a few key statistics to help you see the scope of the issue:
- Per the Federal Highway Administration (FHA), 750 people pass away every single year, on average, from accidents in road work zones.
- Between 1982 and 2014, that means that 24,745 people were killed. Granted, this number includes drivers and passengers who passed away, not just workers.
- The worst year for these accidents on record was 2002. That year, 1,186 people died. Since then, the trend has been progressively downward.
- Between 2008 and 2014, there was an average of 591 fatalities annually.
- Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 1,571 workers were killed in these road construction zones between just 2003 and 2015.
- On average, there are 121 work-related fatalities each and every year.
You may also be interested to know that Illinois is one of the most dangerous states. When looking at the stats from 2003 to 2015, the BLS showed that Texas saw the most deadly accidents involving workers, with 171. Next was Florida, with 104, and then Pennsylvania, with 85. Coming in at No. 4 on the list was Illinois, where 69 workers passed away in road constructions zones. It was tied with California and followed by Tennessee, which saw 62 fatal accidents.
Whenever a worker is injured or killed, it’s important for the worker or surviving family members to know all of their legal options, which may include a right to financial compensation.
Source: CDC, “Highway Work Zone Safety,” accessed Jan. 11, 2018