During the recent National Work Zone Awareness Week, the Illinois Department of Transportation worked hard to create awareness of the hazards faced by those who risk their lives to make the roads safer for motorists throughout the state. A spokesperson said many drivers do not realize how exposed these workers are to the dangers of traffic. They can often feel the wind from the big rigs and cars that speed through construction zones with the drivers having little or no regard for the safety of construction workers. It is no wonder that so many workplace accidents occur in construction zones.
Road construction is one of the most hazardous occupations, and authorities urge motorists to slow down and take extra care as they pass through work zones. One fire chief said the many distractions of devices like cell phones and Bluetooth that most drivers have in their vehicles can be blamed for a significant percentage of accidents in construction zones. According to IDOT, the average annual number of crashes in these work zones is as high as 5,200 — statewide.
Although no fatalities have occurred in these areas so far this year, many injuries have been reported. The latest fatality data for work zones in Illinois was from 2016, when 143 workers lost their lives. The Public Information Officer for IDOT and other safety authorities reminded drivers that many of the construction zone accidents threaten the safety of many innocent workers.
It is yet to be seen how effective the pamphlets that were handed out during this campaign will be. Victims of workplace accidents in Illinois construction zones can pursue financial relief through the workers’ compensation insurance program. Many victims seek the assistance of an experienced attorney to navigate benefits claims for medical expenses and lost wages.
Source: mystateline.com, “IDOT urges caution for Work Zone Awareness Week“, Elliot Wilson, April 12, 2018