It should come as no surprise that state highway workers are injured or killed in traffic-related accidents quite frequently. This is not to say that these individuals are any different than other pedestrians crossing urban roadways or biking on public roads; but as drivers ourselves, we know that construction zones should be treated as hazardous areas — if not for the safety of your own passengers, but for those hard-working men and women who make our highways safe and efficient for all Marylanders.
As Baltimore auto accident lawyers, we see numerous victims of car, motorcycle and trucking accidents every year. Pedestrian accidents are some of the most serious, since people have no real protection against a two-ton passenger vehicle, much less a 30-ton semi tractor-trailer. Broken femurs, tibias, fractured collar bones, injured spinal columns and closed-head trauma are just a few of the potential injuries that a person can receive when struck by a motor vehicle.
Since road workers spend the majority of their working day in close proximity to cars and trucks traveling at rather high speeds, it’s amazing that more of these people are not hurt or killed on an annual basis. Still, with all the safety reminders on our highways, it’s sad that more motorists don’t heed the warnings and really give these folks “a brake.”
A little while ago, the families of injured Maryland road workers began to press the state to make things a little bit safer for those workers still on the job. According to news reports at the time, the latest Maryland highway injury occurred on March 22. A worker for the Jessup, MD, office of the State Highway Administration (SHA) was severely injured as he tried to help clear a traffic wreck along a stretch of Rte 1 near Whiskey Bottom Ln.
Based on reports, Robert Garcia was struck by a vehicle as he was holding up a stop signal in a highway work area. The force of the impact caused Garcia to be thrown into the air. Emergency personnel arriving on the scene apparently treated the injured SHA employee and then transported him to Howard County General Hospital. He was subsequently moved to Johns Hopkins Hospital with severe injuries.
This gentleman was lucky. According to the article, 12 Maryland highway workers have been killed on the job within the past decade, this according to the SHA. That may seem like a small number, but any death is tragic. And for those who might feel that a dozen deaths in 10 years is not a significant number, consider that 1,400 highway workers have been injured on the job in that same amount of time. That’s more than two per month. We doubt that many office workers would find that number acceptable in their workplace.
Widow, Family Members of Injured Workers Plead for Safer Driving in Highway Work Zones, Patch.com, April 5, 2011