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How dangerous are Maryland road work zones?

On Behalf of | Oct 2, 2023 | MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENTS, PERSONAL INJURY (PLAINTIFF) - Personal Injury

In Maryland, when people think about unexpected injuries, they are likely to immediately consider auto accidents. Other types of injuries that people frequently suffer occur on the job. In some instances, the two overlap and people who are stationed in work zones are involved in a collision with an automobile.

This is an ongoing problem that safety advocates are trying to address. Work zones are inherently dangerous. It combines the potential for an auto accident while workers are unprotected by vehicles of their own with a physically demanding job. When an accident does occur, it is important to understand the process to recover damages from the auto crash and to think about workers’ compensation benefits.

Public comments sought to address work zone safety

Maryland officials are so concerned about work zone safety that they are seeking the public’s input in how to improve it by way of a survey. People will be asked a variety of questions about work zones and how they would feel about changes made to try and enhance safety in these areas.

This is part of the Governor’s Work Zone Safety Group with a variety of experts taking part to forge solutions to this problem. Earlier in 2023, a work zone accident led to six construction workers losing their lives. Two speeding vehicles were blamed for the accident.

There may be changes to how law enforcement handles work zone violations. Drivers will be educated on the importance of work zone safety. There are speed zone cameras in work zones, but under current law, they are operated manually. A legal change would make them work automatically to catch drivers and cite them for speeding through these areas.

People stationed in work zones know all too well how driver behavior puts them at risk. Speeding is one problem, but distracted driving and drivers who are under the influence are also challenges they face as they try to work.

The most recent statistics for fatal work zone accidents are from 2021. They show that there were 874 work zone fatalities in the U.S. This was the most in a decade. In Maryland alone, there have been 804 work zone accidents in 2023.

Injured work zone employees have options

When there is a work zone crash, those injured must think about how to proceed. If they are unable to work and it was an injury on the job, they can seek workers’ compensation benefits to cover for all that was lost because of the collision. That includes medical care, wage loss and more.

When there is an auto crash because of a driver’s reckless behavior in a work zone, there are ways to hold them accountable. This too can help the injured person recover personally, professionally and financially. Having comprehensive guidance that understands both workers’ compensation and auto accidents can be helpful when there is this combination of issues.