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Road construction workers put at risk by frustrated drivers

Every North Carolina resident knows that being caught up in a traffic jam due to road construction can be aggravating, especially if you're under time constraints.

While frustration is understandable, such a reaction can lead to a road construction site accident. In order to protect the safety of construction crews and other motorists, in addition to your personal safety, it is important to remain calm and make necessary adjustments in your schedule.

Public safety officials say that as road construction sites stay up longer, the rate of frustrated drivers rises, which causes a noticeable spike in the number of accidents. Additionally, a car accident can be distracting to other drivers, which may lead to further turmoil on the roads. The unfortunate reality is that road construction workers are exposed to significant risks, because they most often do not have the benefit of protection provided by a vehicle.

It's important for drivers to remember that there are special traffic regulations that surround construction areas, including reduced speed limits and stiffer penalties for any traffic infractions. In other words, it's not worth the risk to expose workers to the risks associated with frustrated driving. Rather, make adjustments in your plans to accommodate construction. After all, road construction is a necessary investment to make transportation work more efficiently in the long run.

Above all, road construction crews should be advised of the dangers associates with their work on the roads. Fortunately, there are legal protections and benefits available for those workers injured on the job. North Carolina workers' compensation laws require employers to provide compensation to workers who are injured during the normal course of their work-related duties. These payments can provide the support necessary for employees and their families who are making the financial adjustment to the consequences of an unfortunate road construction accident.

Source: Connect Amarillo, "Caution: Frustrated drivers in construction zones," Lindsey Stiner, June 22, 2012

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