A recent hike in the speed limit on some Illinois roads may pose a danger to some workers. Road work on certain highways requires a reduced speed in order to protect construct workers who generally work in close proximity to moving vehicles. Workers who are hit and sustain a road construction site injury might be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
Previously, rural interstates in Illinois boasted a speed limit of 65 mph. This gives cars an average stopping distance of 405 feet should the need arise. However, at the beginning of 2014, that speed limit was raised to 70 mph, which increased the stopping distance to 470 feet. While it may not appear to be too substantial of a difference, it could reduce safety in construction zones.
In order to combat potential construction site injuries, signs advising motorists to slow down alongside speed-indicator signs were posted on certain stretches of highway. In areas where construction workers are, these signs might be especially effective. While the effects are difficult to measure due to a delayed construction season, it was noted that, overall, fatalities in construction zones have fallen.
Working in a construction zone on a highway might seem inherently dangerous to some, but no matter the work environment, an employee has the right to a safe and secure atmosphere to perform in. In Illinois, some steps have recently been taken to protect those at risk for a construction site injury. However, if a construction worker is hit and injured by a passing motorist he or she may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Intended for those injured while at work, any compensation can ensure that a worker is financially cared for until the time that they are able to return to work.
Source: Pekin Daily Times, “Illinois speed limit bump brings new work-zone precautions“, Tim Landis, April 14, 2014