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Road construction worker injuries can be prevented

There is an old saying in Ohio that we have two seasons: winter and construction. Now that Columbus and the rest of Ohio is seeing warmer weather, construction season is in full swing and the amount of orange barrels and construction workers on Ohio roads is on the rise.

Like other construction workers, road construction workers are exposed to dangerous conditions because of their job. Being killed or injured in a work zone accident is one of the greatest fears of many highway construction workers.

The Ohio Department of Transportation has tracked work zone accidents over the past years and has found that most accidents in work zones happen in the month of August. Last year alone, Ohio saw 5,038 accidents in construction zones resulting in 1,262 injuries and 10 deaths.

Transportation officials note that there are three main types of driving behavior that lead to construction zone accidents: following too closely, improperly changing lanes, and failing to maintain control of vehicles. Many construction zone accidents can be prevented by paying attention to the road and driving cautiously in work zones.

In order to prevent injuring a worker in a construction zone, it is important for drivers to be constantly aware of the road around them. Many commuters will pass through the same work zone every day and they may feel familiar with the work zone. This familiarity may give drivers a false sense of safety and encourage them to drive above the speed limit. However, work zones change constantly and drivers should always drive cautiously whether they feel familiar with the work zone or not.

When construction workers are close to an accident, they are often on foot, lack the protection of an automobile around them, and they are exposed to serious work-related injuries. If you or a member of your family has been injured in a construction accident, a workers' compensation attorney can help you understand your legal rights.

Source: The Wheeling News-Register, "DOT: Work Zone Crashes Are Easily Preventable," Tyler Reynard, 5/31/2011

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