Anyone who lives in or near Chicago has likely driven on or rode in a car while it has traveled on an interstate or highway. The state of Illinois has many throughways with relatively high speeds that allow travelers to get from one part of the state to another or to leave the state in order to travel to other parts of the country. The state’s highways and interstates, however, are often in need of repair. It is not uncommon to see amber signs up about road construction as drivers pass through the metropolitan area.
Road construction is often completed by road crews and machinery. Such construction projects can place workers in dangerously close proximity to moving traffic and can subject them to hazards such as inclement weather and drunken drivers. With all of the dangers that road construction workers can face, one may wonder how frequently such individuals are the victims of construction accidents.
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, there were 669 deaths per year in road construction and work zones between 2007 and 2012 in the United States. That alarming number is actually a significant reduction from the previous average, which was more than 1,000 deaths per year between 2000 and 2006. Road worker deaths reached an all-time high in 2003 when they topped out at an upsetting 1,095 deaths across the country.
Many steps can be taken to reduce the number of road worker and construction site fatalities. However, even the implementation and enforcement of better safety practices will likely not eliminate all of these tragic and preventable occurrences. Individuals who lose loved ones in road work and construction accidents often have legal rights to compensation for their damages. Attorneys who practice personal injury and construction liability law can guide such individuals to resources that may help them better understand their options.