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Illinois drivers: Focus on keeping road workers safe this week

Now that spring is here, many road construction projects will start up across Illinois. Whether they are major reconstruction projects or minor repairs, these jobs require workers to be out on the roads. The people who work in road construction can be in a vulnerable position and are frequently at risk of being injured in an accident.

In order to minimize the threat to the safety of these workers, flashing lights, signs and construction barrels are often put up to alert drivers that work is being completed in the area. Unfortunately, there are still accidents that happen as a result of negligence, recklessness or even just bad luck. However, drivers can go a long way in keeping road construction workers safe just by driving safer in these zones. That is the message that the Illinois State Police wants to send to drivers this week, which is National Work Zone Awareness Week.

In an average year, nearly 5,000 accidents happen in construction zones across Illinois. Hundreds of workers are injured in these crashes and dozens of people have died. Many of these accidents are the result of driver negligence. Motorists may fail to slow down or comply with lane switches and other changes in road conditions. When this happens, workers on site are in very real danger of getting hit by a car.

Workers who are injured in road construction projects have enough to worry about without also having to also be constantly on alert for reckless drivers. Like other construction jobs, there is often heavy equipment, unstable structures and powerful vehicles that these workers need to be focused on. That is why drivers should take the initiative to stay alert and stay safe in construction zones. It may not be possible to prevent every work zone accident, but minimizing those caused by negligence would be a good start.

Getting injured on a construction site can leave workers with a number of difficult questions. Many people want to know how they will cover the cost of medical bills or medication, especially if they are unable to work as a result of their injury. With the help of an attorney, victims of a work-related injury can identify their options for workers' compensation in addition to other sources of compensation that may be appropriate.

Source: Central Illinois Proud, "National Work Zone Awareness Week Begins," April 7, 2014

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