As they do their jobs, road construction workers are dependent on others to act safely to minimize risks on the road. After all, that's ultimately what all those signs and barrels are about: keeping motorists from carelessly injuring people working on road crews.
Unfortunately, far too often drivers act negligently and workers are killed or injured. The Chicago area has its share of these accidents - and not just during the peak summer construction season, either.
A recent case from Michigan is an example of how negligent behavior by a driver can seriously injure a road worker. Last week in Warren, Michigan, a 41-year-old construction worker sustained serious brain injuries in such an accident.
The worker was carrying a long pole, walking parallel to a road about 15 feet away from traffic. A so-called SMART bus, carrying four passengers, came along and clipped the pole. Although the bus was not going extremely fast, the contact between the pole and the bus threw the worker into the air. He then collided with a crane that was about ten feet away on the construction site
The worker was wearing a helmet, but nonetheless sustained a brain injury as a result of the collision. A police deputy commented that helmets typically worn by construction workers are sufficient to provide full protection in a case involving a vehicle such as this.
Brain injuries can of course be very serious. Research is increasingly showing how the effects of mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) can linger over time, compromising someone's quality of life.
Source: "Construction workers clipped by SMART bus, thrown into crane," Detroit Free Press, Megha Satyanarayana, 9-28-12
Our firm handles situations similar to those discussed in this post. To learn more about our practice, please visit our Chicago construction accident page.