Highway work zone safety is an important part of preventing accidents, injuries and deaths. Preventing worker injuries can mean fewer lost lives and more work days saved, which means there is better productivity and safer roads for everyone.

Workers at these sites are exposed to numerous risks, from moving construction equipment and vehicles to passing vehicles on the roads themselves. While traffic accidents may not always be preventable, with the right safety on site, accidents can still be avoided or minimized in most cases.

Work zone accidents still affect people every day and all over the United States. As the summer months approach, more workers will be on the roads, so drivers must be safer to prevent accidents. Between 2007 and 2012, work zone fatalities and maintenance work zone fatalities averaged at 669 deaths each year. The worst states for these accidents were California, Florida, and Texas, although most states did have a fatality.

Transportation incidents are the cause of around 66 percent of all roadway work zone fatalities for 2013. In 69 percent of cases, it was a pedestrian worker who was struck by a vehicle. If you’ve ever driven around a construction site or work zone, you’ve likely seen workers on or near the roads. These workers are in a precarious position; if they get in the way of a vehicle, it could mean they are left with lasting injuries or are killed.

The times vehicles were most dangerous were when they were backing, and in 2013, 27 of 48 accidents involving vehicles were a result of backing vehicles alone.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Highway Work Zone Safety,” accessed June 01, 2016