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Connecticut attempts to improve safety for highway workers

Connecticut drivers sometimes get annoyed when roadside construction slows down their commute. There's no doubt that these construction projects can create an inconvenience at times. Still, that's no reason to put the lives of road construction workers at risk. Many road construction workers are hurt or killed every year when drivers fail to slow down or fail to take adequate care when driving near a construction zone.

Connecticut recently imposed new measures designed to encourage drivers to be more careful around construction zones and hopefully to reduce the danger these drivers pose to roadside workers. Under a new law that went into effect in October, motorists convicted of endangering highway workers will be required to attend retraining. Under the new law, any driver found to be driving more than 75 miles-per-hour in a work zone may be convicted of endangering a highway worker. For truck drivers, the speed limit is 65 mph.

In any construction worker injury involving vehicles driving 75 mph or more, the injuries are likely to be extremely serious. Workers may be faced with permanent disability and a lifetime of diminished earning capacity. In the case of fatal accidents, a family may be left without the victim's companionship and income.

Injured workers or the families of workers who were killed may be compensated for some of these losses through Connecticut's workers' compensation system. The system provides benefits to workers injured in the course of their employment, regardless of whether the employer was at fault for the accident. Navigating the system can be tricky however, especially when an employer or the employer's insurance provider initially declines to cover a claim.

Source: CBS New York, "Conn. Increasing Penalties For Drivers Who Violate Work Zone Speed Limits," Oct. 21, 2013

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