Our Miami car accident lawyers are currently representing an injured Florida construction worker hit by a car while on the job. Florida’s roads are seemingly always under construction or repair. From Jacksonville to Key West, Florida’s Department of Transportation (FDOT) and its sub-contractors are focused building new or improving existing roadways often resulting in catastrophic injuries. . Much of the repair and improvement work, is performed on roadways that are open to heavy traffic in urban areas like Miami and Fort Lauderdale.
To avoid major traffic jams cities are seeing more traffic roadwork done at night. The combination of road repair work done during heavy traffic and the increase in night work results in significant safety considerations for Florida’s highway and construction workers and drivers.
Florida Statute Section 316.079 requires drivers to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian construction worker or flag person who is engaged in maintenance or construction work. In addition, drivers are responsible to yield the right-of-way to escort vehicles or a flag person.
Many roadside workers believe that simply wearing any safety vest and helmet provide enough visibility to avoid an accident. What many do not know is that safety vests come in many styles and classes. According to the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Worker Visibility Final Rule, “All workers within the right-of-way of a Federal-aid highway who are exposed either to traffic (vehicles using the highway for purposes of travel) or to construction equipment within the work area shall wear high-visibility safety apparel.”
As a Broward lawyer who represent injured roadside construction workers I recommend that only Class III visibility vests be worn. These vest offer the greatest visibility and make the wearer stand out against a variety of different backgrounds. Class III visibility vests allow workers to be easily seen through a full range of body motions at a minimum of 1,280 feet by using special reflective material that increases visibility beyond what is provided by Performance Class 2 apparel. For instance, Class III garments help drivers differentiate a worker from a static traffic control device like a barricade or delineator.
Our Pembroke Pines car crash lawyers are dedicated to keeping Florida’s roads safe for both drivers and for the many who work to keep them maintained and clean. We strongly urge the use of Class III safety garments. They can make the difference between life and death for a worker, especially in highly congested areas, nighty work, during bad weather or in complex work zones with multiple lane shifts. We believe that employers have the responsibility to provide appropriate safety equipment for their workers and should be held responsible if they are injured due to a lack of driver visibility.
A violation of this section is a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a moving violation as provided in chapter 318.