While we wish it were not the case, construction zones on or near roadways are potential hotbeds for accidents and hazardous conditions. A far-too-large number of both construction workers and drivers alike are hurt or even killed in work zones due to traffic accidents every year, in many cases due to negligence by one party or another.
At the offices of William Rawlings & Associates, LLC, we’re proud to provide auto accident injury attorney services for a variety of car accident types, including those that take place in or around construction zones. Let’s look at some data on how common these incidents are, some important information on both driver and work zone responsibility, and how to handle things if you believe you have a case against another party in this realm following an accident.
Data on Construction Zones and Accidents
Per a study by the Federal Highway Administration back in 2010, construction zone sites featured nearly 90,000 vehicle accidents per year at the time of the research – numbers that have only increased in the subsequent years. Those accidents led to nearly 40,000 injuries, plus significant property damage and, of course, many deaths.
In addition, hundreds of road construction workers are hurt or killed in work zones every year. These deaths or injuries are often avoidable based on a few important factors, which we’ll discuss below.
It’s important to note that despite the fact that construction zones do often present different road conditions or even potential hazards, drivers in these areas have reasonable levels of responsibility placed on them. They must remain within the proper directed areas within any work zone, and also need to be paying attention, observing the speed limit and preparing themselves in case of being instructed in any way by a licensed construction zone worker. Failure to meet any of these basic standards could mean liability for an accident rests at the feet of the driver in many situations.
Work Zone Requirements and Possible Issues
In addition to driver requirements, there are several basic conditions that must be met by construction zone organizers and workers to ensure the area is safe near a roadway:
- Signage: Signs must be both correct and easily legible, plus not confusing or misleading in any way.
- Warnings: In any situation where lanes close, shift or merge, or when a significant change in speed is required, drivers must be given sufficient visual warning.
- Cones and barrels: Cones and barrels are regularly used to mark off certain construction areas, and they must be placed correctly.
- Dangerous road conditions: Pavement that’s uneven, blocked, contains large holes or isn’t properly lighted should be limited, and must be identified to drivers.
Vehicles: Construction vehicles entering or leaving the primary roadway must do so carefully and without being reckless.
Accidents and Liability
If you’ve been involved in an accident in a construction zone, the above factors will go a long way toward determining fault and liability. If you feel a construction zone has not met any of the above-stated conditions, you might have a claim against this party – contact our car accident attorneys right away to find out more.
For more on this or any of our other personal injury attorney services, speak to the staff at the offices of William Rawlings & Associates today.