Highway Work Zone Crashes Decline, But Dangers Still High

The North County Times is out today with an article on highway work zone safety. The good news is that the number of accidents and injuries is down. The bad news is that doing road work is still a very dangerous way to earn a living.

Nick Nusser is a contractor from Atkinson Construction, and is one of many workers who make their living working on the side of the highway while cars race by. His “office is the freeway,” which, he says, makes him keep his “head on a swivel.” The only thing keeping him safe from careless drivers is a low concrete divider and an orange vest.

Despite the obvious dangers of working on the highway – which have no doubt increased with the advent of texting – the number of car accidents in work zones has actually declined over the last decade. The number of crashes statewide has declined from 6,901 in 1998 to 4,374 in 2008. Injuries and fatalities have also declined dramatically.

CalTrans officials credit the reduction in accidents and injuries to safety campaigns, which will continue as a result of a $3 million grant. High fines have also played a role in the improved safety, officials say.

To read the entire North County Times article click here.

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Here are some statistics for accidents, injuries, and fatalities in highway work zones:

1998

54 fatalities
3,537 injuries
6,901 vehicle collisions
2008

45 fatalities
2,062 injuries
4,374 vehicle collisions
1998 San Diego / Imperial Counties

4 fatalities
246 injuries
330 vehicle collisions
2008 San Diego/Imperial Counties

4 fatalities
169 injuries
319 vehicle collisions
Source: Caltrans

The Poway accident and injury lawyers at Walton Law Firm represent individuals who have been injured in all types of accidents, including auto accidents, worksite injuries, pedestrian injuries, construction accidents, property injuries, and malpractice matters. Call (760) 571-5500 for a free consultation.

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