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Motorists and road workers: Working together to avoid accidents

Ohio residents know that summertime is synonymous with road construction. In fact, according to the Ohio Department of Transportation, nearly 8,000 projects are slated for this season.

And whether you are a motorist navigating roads under construction or the workers tackling projects to improve roadways, safety should be a top priority this summer.

Last year, there were more than 4,800 work zone crashes resulting in 19 fatalities and 119 serious injuries. While that was a statistically low number of crashes, it is still far too many, and there is more that everyone can do to drive that number down even further.

If you are a motorist

One of the most important steps drivers can take to prevent a work zone accident is to give other vehicles space. Following others too closely caused most of the accidents in 2017.

Other steps drivers can take include:

  • Slowing down in work zones
  • Avoiding all forms of distracted driving
  • Complying with changing traffic signals
  • Staying calm and giving yourself plenty of time to reach your destination
  • Moving over near work crews, if possible

If you are a road worker

Road workers cannot control drivers, delays or detours, but they can take steps to avoid accidents. Workers can:

  • Wear visibility gear at all times
  • Be alert and aware of surroundings
  • Stay within defined work areas
  • Comply with proper traffic control and vehicle operation regulations
  • Be mindful of changing site and weather conditions and adjust accordingly

These simple steps can make the difference between getting home safely and spending the rest of the summer recuperating from serious injuries or dealing with legal claims and consequences.

Should a party act dangerously or negligently in a work zone and wind up causing a major motor vehicle or construction accident, victims and their families would be wise to explore their legal options for pursuing a personal injury or workers’ compensation claim.