According to the Department of Transportation (DOT), in 2010 there were 87,606 accidents in work zones. Though this is a very large number and work sites tend to be clustered areas, only a small percentage resulted in deaths. The DOT reported that from the work site accidents in 2010, 30% on the accidents resulted in injury, 69% resulted in property damage alone, and 0.6% resulted in deaths. Although the number of deaths is miniscule and the accidents that resulted in injury is also fairly low, this should not lower a driver’s attentiveness when entering a work site. The DOT also reports that there is one injury every 14 minutes in construction sites.
Some common causes for these accidents are the following:
Construction sites often are run and handled by crews. This usually means that there will be vehicles, equipment, and signage in the area. To prevent accidents, the crew will erect a sign specifying what the speed limit will be in the construction zone. This sign is erected in order to give the drivers a warning to decrease their speed before hitting the zone. The reason why you should decrease your speed when entering a construction zone is for safety, both for the workers and for your own. Decreasing the speed of your vehicle allows you to recognize any potential harms that you may not have seen if you were traveling 10-15 miles per hour faster. Reducing your speed will not only assist in keeping the workers safe but it will also help keeping you and your passengers safe as well.
During the course of a normal drive, there are bound to be distractions a driver may face: a good song on the radio, a cell phone conversation, children in the backseat being fussy, etc. When entering a construction zone, the margin for error shrinks because of possible lane closures, reduced speed, or new traffic/lane patterns. It is important to pay attention to the road and avoid any distractions so that you do not end up in an accident.
Construction zones will likely have some sort of different traffic pattern. This can be in the form of a lane shift, lane closure, new signage or traffic signal. Merging during a normal drive can be difficult at times for one reason or another. However, when in a construction zone, the space you have to merge is condensed. This is why a driver must pay attention whenever making some form of a move. One wrong turn and you could be side swiping or colliding with another vehicle.
Not obeying traffic signals or signage
As mentioned above, construction zones will have some form of signage or signals to indicate that either the driver is approaching the zone or to instruct the driver as to what to do once in the zone. Most times, drivers will obey these signs but this is not always the case. Some drivers will either miss the sign entirely because they could have been distracted, forget to do what the sign said, or ignore the sign completely. Regardless of the reason why they were not obeying the sign, the result is often the same: a car accident. To avoid an accident it is crucial to obey the signs as well as keep a proper lookout for those drivers that do not obey the signs.
Accidents in road construction zones are usually extremely complex and involve multiple defendants. It is imperative that you hire an experienced law firm to help with your case. The sooner you do, the better. As soon as we are retained, we will send our team of road construction accident lawyers and experts to the construction site to gather facts, photograph the work zone and speak with any eye witnesses to the crash or the work being performed that may have contributed to the wreck. Call now for your Free Consultation.