Many Maryland work zone accidents are avoidable, as long as workers, motorists, and contracting companies take the necessary precautions. For example, contractors need to make sure that construction zones are well marked and easily visibly. Workers should undergo safety training, be given the tools they need to make their work sites safer, and follow the safety rules. Motorists should pay attention and slow down when driving close to a work zone.
Driving too fast is the leading contributing factor of work zone accidents, with rubbernecking also another leading cause. Both workers and motorists are at risk of getting hurt in work zone accidents.
On June 26, 2007, Near Frederick, Maryland, state highway worker Rick Moser was killed when he was hit by a truck and thrown 175 feet while working in a highway work zone. Trucker Brian McCully was charged with negligent driving. He paid a $280 fine. The Motor Vehicle Administration gave him three points for the negligent driving charge. However, since this was a traffic citation, the truck driver didn’t have to go to court. The Moser family later filed a $2.5 million Frederick, Maryland wrongful death lawsuit against McCully for striking Rick with his Chevrolet truck.
Last February, Rick’s wife, Laurie, testified on House Bill 172 that calls for making it a misdemeanor to recklessly contribute to an accident in a highway work zone. The bill would impose a $1,000 fine and time in prison for up to 90 days. In 2007, Maryland police reported 2,250 highway work zone accidents in the state resulting in 11 deaths and 1,140 injuries.
Work Zone Awareness week was held earlier this month in the United States. Traffic safety officials want people to be especially aware of the dangers of careless driving in a work zone accident because spring is often the beginning of the construction season and the time when many motorists get back on the roads.
Work Zone Awareness Kicks Off, ABC2News.com, April 7, 2009
Widow requests tougher law for reckless driving, FrederickNewsPost.com, February 5, 2009
Family of highway worker killed in June files $2.5 million wrongful death suit, FrederickNewsPost.com, September 13, 2007
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If you or someone you love was injured in a Maryland work zone accident, please contact our Maryland personal injury law firm to request your free case evaluation.