Between 2003 and 2013, Florida had the second highest fatality rate for construction workers and other highway workers in roadway construction zones and road maintenance zones. Texas was the only state in the country where more construction workers got killed in road construction areas. An experienced car accident lawyer knows when a construction or maintenance worker is killed in a crash, he may be able file a lawsuit against a negligent driver in addition to making a workers' compensation claim.
Construction and maintenance workers are not the only ones who are likely to get hurt in construction zones and maintenance areas on highways. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns drivers that lane merges, traffic cones, detours, unexpected lane closings, and other characteristic conditions of construction sites can significantly increase the risk of motor vehicle collisions. Because of the warm weather in Florida, construction can occur year round. Drivers always need to be on the lookout for construction zones and must ensure they both follow reduced speed limits and exercise extra caution as they move through a work zone.
Construction Accidents a Significant Risk for Florida Motorists
CDC data shows the average number of annual construction accidents is affected by infrastructure spending levels and changing economic conditions nationwide. Information on fatalities was provided from 1994 through 2013.
From 1994 to 1999, an average of 778 motorists were killed annually while driving through construction or maintenance sites on highways each year. Between 2000 and 2006, the average number of motorist deaths rose significantly to 1,060 per year. In 2003, there were 1,095 fatalities in construction and maintenance zones. This was the highest death toll. The number of deaths dropped from 2007 through 2012 with an average of 669 fatalities. Florida, Texas, and California were the three states in the country with the highest fatality rates for motorists in cars. More than 50 people each year died in each of these states.
Florida construction workers also had a very high death rate, second only to Texas from 2003 to 2013. Construction workers obviously face significant risks when doing road construction.
Between 2003 and 2007, 639 construction workers were killed nationwide while working on roadside construction sites. This was 7.9 percent of the 8,103 total deaths construction workers experienced during the time period. Almost half of the workers killed on roadside construction sites got hit by cars when they were standing on the roadside. Over the year 2013, 105 workers died in roadside construction zones.
Workers who die on roadside construction sites include highway maintenance workers, construction workers, road construction supervisors, excavators, tractor trailer operators, and operators of construction equipment. These professions account for 63 percent of worker fatalities in road construction accidents.
Drivers endanger other motorists and construction workers if they go too fast through construction areas, if they fail to pay careful attention to what they are doing, or if they otherwise take risks. Fines for speeding through a construction zone are doubled in many cases according to Florida Code 318.18. The fines are doubled if road personal is present. This added penalty is designed to encourage motorists not to endanger construction workers.