According to the Workzonesafety.com, nearly half (46%) of all work zone-associated worker fatalities from 2003-2010 were caused by being struck by a vehicle. Surprisingly, only around 2% of those workers were killed by a drunk driver. From 2003 to 2015 (the last year this data was updated), a total of 1324 work zone fatalities have been recorded, which averages to about 102 per year.
In order to determine the 10 states who have recorded the most worker fatalities in roadway construction work zones, I took the average of the 13 years of data available, to reduce any inconsistencies in the data. The numbers of fatalities can obviously be skewed by the amount of road work being completed in each state, but we should look to those top states to find solutions for reducing the rate of injury and fatalities, as they have the most opportunity.
There are some new methods and materials being tested and used throughout the country and world that can help reduce the risk of injury for workers along roadways, including steel barricades like the ones Pueblo, Colorado is testing, a smart safety vest that alerts workers if something is approaching them to quickly that a group of researchers from Virginia Tech are working on, and offsite prefabrication of structural components for overpasses that not only keeps workers in a safer area away from vehicles, but also reduces the impact to traffic.
For some reason, the states of Delaware, Hawaii, and New Hampshire were not included in the data. Washington DC and Alaska recorded only 1 fatality each in the 13 year span, while Idaho, New Mexico, Rhode Island, and Vermont, all only recorded 2. You can see the full set of data by clicking here.
10 States with Most Roadway Construction Work Zone Fatalities from 2003-2015
1. Texas – 13.15 fatalities/year
2. Florida – 8.00 fatalities/year
3. Pennsylvania – 6.54 fatalities/year
4. Illinois – 5.46 fatalities/year
5. California – 5.31 fatalities/year
6. Tennessee – 4.77 fatalities/year
7. Indiana – 4.08 fatalities/year
8. Ohio – 3.77 fatalities/year
9. Georgia – 3.69 fatalities/year
10. New York – 2.92 fatalities/year