Pedestrians and Driver Construction Site Injuries and Safety Tips

Pedestrians and Driver Construction Site Injuries and Safety Tips

Pedestrians and Driver Construction Site Injuries and Safety Tips

  June 29, 2017

Construction Sites Pose Injury Risks for Pedestrians and Drivers

While construction workers usually understand the dangers related to working in and around construction sites, pedestrians, drivers, and the general public often aren't aware of the significant dangers posed by their interactions with construction sites.

But in reality, construction sites are dangerous places for more than just construction site workers; construction site accidents and injuries also seriously affect drivers and pedestrians. What may seem like a minor error on the part of construction site management or construction site operators can lead to a catastrophic, costly and life-altering injury for construction site pedestrians and drivers.

Helping Drivers and Pedestrians Understand Construction Site Dangers

Unfortunately, pedestrian construction site accidents and driver construction site accidents are more common than many people realize, but they aren't discussed as often as construction worker injuries. The dangers construction sites pose to drivers and pedestrians are very real. Construction site owners and operators must take responsibility for preventing construction site accidents for the pedestrians and drivers who interact with their sites on an everyday basis.

It's important for drivers, pedestrians, and the general public to understand the risks construction sites pose and know their rights if they are injured by an unsafe or poorly managed construction site.

Unsafe Construction Sites Threaten Pedestrians and Drivers

Construction workers are trained on the systems and design features of construction sites meant to keep them safe, but this isn't usually the case for the public who walk or drive past areas under construction nearly every day.

When construction activities take place in busy areas where pedestrians, drivers, and local residents are forced to interact with construction sites as they go about their daily lives, drivers and pedestrians can unknowingly place themselves at risk for serious injury or even death from poorly managed, designed, or maintained construction sites.

Some of the major dangers construction sites pose for drivers and pedestrians include:

  • Falling debris
  • Unsafe equipment
  • Improperly secured tools and equipment
  • Insufficient signage

Safety Tips for Drivers and Pedestrians Near Construction Zones

Whether you're a driver or pedestrian near a construction site, being aware of the dangers associated with construction zones can help keep you safe.

As a driver:

  • Slow down in construction zones.
  • Rely on construction signs, cones, barricades, and the direction of construction crews.
  • Leave a safe following distance between cars while driving in a construction zone.
  • Use your headlights for increased visibility.
  • Do not use your cell phone or engage in any other distractions while driving in a construction zone.

As a pedestrian:

  • Observe all signs associated with construction sites.
  • Pay attention when walking or running near a construction zone.
  • If you use headphones while walking or running near a construction site, leave one ear open so you can hear and be alert to your surroundings.
  • Don't walk or run while sending texts, answering emails, or using your smartphone. Pay close attention to your surroundings!
  • Observe walkways and crosswalks near construction sites.
  • Walk or run in the direction of traffic in construction zones.

Related: Read why pedestrian deaths in traffic accidents might be on the rise

Construction Companies are Required to Design Safe Construction Sites for Both Drivers and Pedestrians

The law requires construction companies to implement countless safety precautions meant to keep their workers safe. By extension, these same precautions can help keep drivers and pedestrians safe. But many construction companies neglect site design and safety management systems that go beyond protecting their workers and extend to the special needs and considerations of pedestrians, drivers, visitors, and bystanders who walk or drive through construction sites.

Pedestrians and drivers should be aware that construction sites are dangerous places, even for those not directly working on the site. Studies indicate that construction site injuries are extremely common. Construction sites often have notoriously poor records when it comes to worker safety, and these breeches in safe construction sites also put pedestrians and drivers at risk for serious injuries or even death.

Common Construction Site Dangerous for Pedestrians and Drivers

Many of the factors that put construction workers at risk for injury and death pose the same risks for drivers and pedestrians. OSHA calls the top four safety hazards on construction sites the "Fatal Four" because they are responsible for so many construction worker deaths. Pedestrians and drivers should be aware of these same risk factors.

Not including highway collisions, the leading cause of construction accident fatalities for workers in the construction industry are:

  • Falls - 364 out of 937 total deaths in construction in CY 2015 (38.8%)
  • Struck by Object - 90 (9.6%)
  • Electrocutions - 81 (8.6%)
  • Caught-In/Between* - 67 (7.2%)

(*Includes construction workers killed when caught in or compressed by equipment or objects, and struck, caught, or crushed in collapsing structure, equipment, or material.)

The top 10 most frequently cited OSHA safety violations from October 1, 2015, through September 30, 2016, are:

  1. Fall protection, construction
  2. Hazard communication standard, general industry
  3. Scaffolding, general requirements, construction
  4. Respiratory protection, general industry
  5. Control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout), general industry
  6. Powered industrial trucks, general industry
  7. Ladders, construction
  8. Machinery and machine guarding, general requirements
  9. Electrical, wiring methods, components and equipment, general industry
  10. Electrical systems design, general requirements, general industry

Construction companies must go beyond protecting their workers and design safe construction sites that protect drivers, pedestrians, and members of the general public who are at risk for the same accidents that befall construction workers. Maintaining a safe construction site is just as important for pedestrians and drivers as it is for construction workers, and failure to do so represents a breach of duty on behalf of the construction site owners, management, or operators.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a construction site accident as a pedestrian or driver, the personal injury attorneys at Whiting Law are ready to answer your questions in a free, no obligation consultation. If you've been injured in a construction site accident, you deserve the best legal representation. Contact us and we'll help you understand your options after a pedestrian or driver construction accident.

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