The number of accidents and traffic fatalities that occur due to distracted driving have increased over the last decade, according to the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA). The administration reports that in 2017 alone, 3,166 people were fatally injured in distracted driving accidents. In many of those accidents, drivers were using handheld cell phones. Work zones are particularly dangerous places to be when it comes to these types of accidents – distracted drivers are liable to crash into sites when they fail to notice warning signs or detours, consequently injuring or killing nearby workers.
Distracted Driving and Work Zones
People are more distracted on the roads now than ever, since the introduction of smartphones and navigation technology. When drivers are texting on their phones or using in-vehicle technology, they put work zone employees at risk. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drivers take their eyes off the road for approximately five seconds when reading or sending a text – long enough to cover the length of a football field when traveling 55 miles per hour.
The NHTSA reports that from 2013 to 2016, there was a 28 percent increase in highway work zone fatalities, many of which were due to distracted driving accidents. Construction workers and others performing operations and maintenance activities may also be seriously injured in distracted driving crashes. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2017 alone, there were 1,778 work zone crashes in Pennsylvania which resulted in both fatal and non-fatal injuries such as amputations, broken bones, paralysis, and traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
Drivers Knowingly Engage in Risky Behavior
According to a recent study conducted by the AAA, most drivers are aware of the dangers associated with distracted driving, namely:
- Diminished situational awareness
- Delayed reaction time
- Inability to recognize and obey traffic signals, including work zone signs
However, the survey also reveals that although 78 percent of drivers believe texting is a significant danger to themselves and others on the road, 35 percent had still sent a text or an email while driving in the last 30 days. Also, while 58 percent said that talking on a cellphone is a serious threat to personal safety, 49 percent still reported talking on the phone while driving within the last 30 days.
A recent study published in the Journal of Legal Affairs and Dispute Resolution in Engineering and Construction provides additional evidence to support the conclusion that drivers engage in distracting behaviors while driving despite knowing that distracted driving is dangerous. According to the study, at least 50 percent of drivers perform activities that distract them from the road even though they know they are engaging in risky behavior.
In Pennsylvania, injured workers may be entitled to compensation regardless of who was at fault for the accident. If you were injured in a work zone, contact a local attorney to discuss your case and ensure that your rights are protected.
Philadelphia Work Accident Lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Help Workers Obtain Benefits for Injuries They Sustained in Work Zone Crashes
If a distracted driver injured you while you were in a work zone, contact a Philadelphia work accident lawyer at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Most employees in Pennsylvania are covered by the state Workers’ Compensation Act and are therefore eligible for various types of benefits, including payment for medical expenses and lost wages. Our skilled attorneys have been proudly representing workers in Philadelphia and throughout the state for more than 40 years. To discuss a possible claim, contact us online or call us at 888-PITT-LAW today for a free consultation.
We proudly represent injured workers in Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County, and throughout Pennsylvania, including those in the communities of Abington, Ambler, Ardmore, Bala Cynwyd, Bensalem, Clifton Heights, Crum Lynne, Darby, Downingtown, Doylestown, Drexel Hill, Essington, Folcroft, Glenolden, Haverford, Havertown, Holmes, Kutztown, Lansdowne, Media, Merion Station, Morton, Narberth, Norristown, Norwood, Philadelphia, Prospect Park, Quakertown, Reading, Roxborough, Sharon Hill, Upper Darby, West Chester, and Wynnewood.