Transportation Injury prevention Transportation

New worker hazard alert: Roadside safety

Photo: Washington State Department of Transportation/Flickr

Portland, OR — Spurred by five vehicle operator deaths between 2019 and 2022, a new hazard alert offers best practices for protecting roadside workers and stranded drivers.

In the alert, the Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences says each incident stemmed from a worker parking their vehicle unsafely on the side of the road at night or early in the morning, when visibility was limited.

Citing 2018-2021 data from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, OIOHS says 48% of the 217 U.S. workers who died after being struck by a vehicle on the side of the road represented the transportation industry.

Safety tips include:

  • Don’t pull over on the side of the highway, if possible. Look for a rest stop, highway exit or other safe place.
  • Turn on your hazard lights if you must park on the shoulder. Leave your headlights on if you pull over at night.
  • If you exit your vehicle on the side of the highway, turn off the engine, remove the key, set the brakes and turn on your hazard lights.
  • Look both ways for oncoming vehicles. Only cross the road at designated pedestrian crossings.
  • If roadside assistance is required, call for help immediately and remain in your vehicle while you wait.

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