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Roadway Construction Presents Risks for Both Workers and Motorists

April 4, 2016 | Category: Construction Accidents, Truck Accidents | Share

The combination of traffic and active road construction work zones make our roads hazardous for drivers to negotiate and for the workers involved in building and maintaining our streets, bridges and highways to complete their jobs safely. 

Roadway Construction Presents Risks - Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.In Lee, Collier and Charlotte Counties alone, FDOT (Florida Department of Transportation) reported that for the week of March 20, 2016 there are a total of 27 different road projects - Charlotte County 4; Collier County 7; Lee County 16. These projects include widening of roads, resurfacing, bridge repair work, drainage improvements, adding guardrails, signs and pavement markings, signal improvements, shoulder widening, sidewalk and curb construction and maintenance, and new turn lanes. All of these projects can present confusing signs, lane changes, orange barrels and barriers creating hazards that can often result in serious accidents reports that in 2014 there were 2,494 crashes at Florida work zones which resulted in 2,434 serious injuries and 60 fatalities. 

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s (NIOSH) data on road construction injuries ranks the states in order of worker deaths in work zones. The most recent ranking in 2013 showed Florida as the number two state preceded by Texas, and followed by Illinois, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, California, Georgia and Indiana. 

Workers injured on highway construction projects 

Workers on foot, which include flaggers, are the most vulnerable if they are not visible to motorists or motorists are distracted. Also, says that construction workers behind the barriers in work zones are also vulnerable because of large construction equipment blind spots. It is reported that every month at least one work zone worker is killed in the United States by being backed over by a construction vehicle, most often dump trucks (48 percent). 

Accident investigations reported by have shown the following statistics: 

  • Being run over or backed over by construction vehicles - 48 percent.
  • Collisions between vehicles/construction equipment - 14 percent.
  • Being caught between, or struck by construction equipment - 14 percent.
  • Other accidents - 24 percent. 

Vehicle accidents due to improperly established construction sites 

Motorists often encounter distractions while driving in road work zones. These distractions may include detours, unclear lane or pavement markings, workers, uneven pavement, equipment, trucks, pedestrians, and other distracted drivers. All of these distractions can, and do, cause accidents.

Established construction sites may have:

  • Warning signs which federal and state regulations mandate.
  • Lane turns and changes which may require motorists to turn sharply.
  • Unexpected construction material and debris in the road which can cause drivers to swerve to avoid them.
  • Pavement issues including poorly marked or unevenness which can be hazardous to cars, trucks, motorcycles or any other vehicles.

Florida construction zone safety rules 

In Florida safety protocols for road construction sites are outlined in the FDOT’s “Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD).”  The Work Zone Mobility and Safety Program also outlines where and when changeable message signs and portable regulatory signs are to be used. Florida, and 32 other states, double the fines for speeding in construction zones. 

The FDOT “Roadwatch Reports” reminds motorists “to wear safety belts and drive with caution, courtesy, common sense, and patience as they travel through work zones.” 

To learn about traffic conditions across Florida, FDOT asks travelers to visit or dial “5-1-1” from their cell phones. The department says, “If you know before you go, you can plan accordingly and save time and money.” 

“If you or a loved one is involved in an accident as the result of road construction whether as a motorist or a road worker, contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. for a free consultation,” said Lee County Vehicle Accident Attorney, Randall Spivey.


Lee County Vehicle Accident Attorney, Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by just one (1%) percent of Florida attorneys.  He has handled over 2,000 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida.  For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239.337.7483 or toll free at 1.888.477.4839,or by email to  Visit for more information.  You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County 239.793.7748.



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