Pedestrian accidents may happen in the roadway, when someone is trying to cross the street, but they also occur when pedestrians remain on the sidewalks and walkways. Work zones, in particular, put pedestrians in danger, both from regular traffic and from large trucks and other vehicles entering and exiting the area.
According to WorkZoneSafety.org, in 2018, pedestrian-related work zone crashes killed 122 people.
Hazards from construction vehicles
WorkZoneSafety.org warns that although heavy equipment should have safety features such as mirrors and back-up alerts, some operators do not pay enough attention, or may not have someone monitoring the area for pedestrians. Construction vehicles may move when pedestrians are not expecting to, or move more quickly than expected.
Equipment and vehicles may cross or block sidewalks, forcing pedestrians into the path of equipment and passenger vehicles. Modified street crossings and pathway obstructions may also reroute pedestrians into places where drivers may not expect them.
Passenger vehicle dangers
Passenger vehicle drivers may be more likely to collide with a pedestrian because of the changes in road traffic, the greater congestion and confusing signage. Drivers are often focused more on trying to safely navigate the area than watching out for pedestrians.
After dark, it may be even more difficult for drivers to see pedestrians in the work zone if the construction company has not provided adequate lighting for the signage.
Pedestrian safety tips
While pedestrians cannot eliminate the hazards, they can increase their odds of getting through the work zone safely. Putting away phones and headphones, wearing bright colors and carefully following signage may help them avoid dangerous situations with negligent drivers or workers.