Roadside Safety – Avoiding Struck-By Accidents

Struck-by vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of construction-related deaths. In fact, one-in-four struck-by deaths involve construction workers, significantly more than any other occupation. Whether you work in construction, or simply find yourself roadside with a disabled vehicle, it’s important to keep the following safety tips in mind.

Construction Site Safety

  • Wear seat belts that meet OSHA standards, except on equipment that is designed for standup operation or that has no rollover protective structure.
  • Check vehicles before each shift to assure that all parts and accessories are in safe operating condition.
  • Do not drive a vehicle in reverse gear with an obstructed rear view, unless it has an audible reverse alarm, or another worker signals that it is safe.
  • Drive vehicles or equipment only on roadways or grades that are safely constructed and maintained.
  • Make sure that you and all other personnel are in the clear before using dumping or lifting devices.
  • Set parking brakes when vehicles and equipment are parked, and chock the wheels if they are on an incline.
  • Use traffic signs, barricades or flaggers when construction takes place near public roadways.
  • Workers must be highly visible in all levels of light. Warning clothing, such as red or orange vests, are required; and if worn for night work, must contain reflective material.

Roadside Tips

  • Pull onto the shoulder and stop as far off the road as possible with the wheels turned to the right.
  • Leave your sidelights on and turn on the hazard warning lights.
  • If you have reflective jackets in the vehicle, wear them.
  • Once you leave the vehicle, retreat up the bank or behind a barrier, if possible. Always exit on the side opposite the roadway.
  • Don’t attempt even simple repairs.
  • Motorway hard shoulders are for emergency use only. It’s best to drive to a safer place off the motorway, if possible. Never stop on the shoulder to go to the bathroom, make a phone call or check a route or map.

Calling for Assistance

  • Once in a safe place use a mobile phone to call roadside assistance (offered through most insurance carriers or AAA).
  • If you don’t have a mobile phone, walk to an emergency telephone on your side of the road – never attempt to cross a highway/interstate.
  • If you feel at risk from another person, return to your vehicle and lock all doors. Leave your vehicle again as soon as you feel this danger has passed.


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