These days, it seems that a roadway or highway is either under construction, had construction just finished, or is about to be under construction. Barricades, barrels, cones, lights, trenches, and heavy equipment are on our roadways and affecting ou traffic patterns as much as the drivers themselves.
Construction has become a way of life with many commuters and travelers, and the presence of a construction zone has become second-nature such that we almost automatically know they’re coming and we prepare for them. On the other hand, we have become so used to them that sometimes we take them for granted and maybe we don’t do everything that we should to remain safe while moving through a construction zone.
Road Work Construction Statistics
Auto accidents in construction zones aren’t the most common, to be fair, but they happen often enough that the numbers of deaths and injuries are pretty alarming. This is even with many crews choosing to work at night when there is less traffic and thus less apparent risk to drivers, vehicles and the pedestrian workers in the construction zones.
It is reported that 85% of those killed in construction-zone auto accidents were motorists. Over a five-year stretch, highway work-zone accidents have killed more than two people and injured 100 every single day. In all work zones, there are about 40,000 injuries every single day.
Road Work Construction Dangers
Construction zones aren’t just about making a road – unfortunately, it seems like they also make a lot more trouble for drivers and vehicles which pass through them. While in most states construction zones are required to have conspicuous markings, signage and slower speed limits, there are still some serious auto accidents that can occur in these areas.
Often, construction zones take up part of the roadway, which creates a sort of bottleneck effect in which the area for cars is narrower and more closely compacted than when there is no construction. And in many of these zones, lane markings are covered or erased, or some lane markings are painted over others so that drivers may be confused as to their lanes, and side-swiping may often happen. Cars may also hit barriers, construction workers or some construction equipment if there is an area that is a little too confusing.
Road Work Construction Liability
Construction zones are not simply places to navigate, either as a driver or in terms of figuring out liability for an accident. Where liability falls isn’t clear because of the many variables, which is why having a thorough accident investigation launched by a quality Memphis personal-injury attorney would be your best bet before accepting any responsibility for what happens if you are caught in a construction-zone accident.
If there is an auto accident in a construction zone, there are many possible causes, so it’s not certain that a driver would necessarily have liability. It is possible that the construction crew or its employer, the state or local agency in charge of the site, or individual construction workers may be held responsible for an auto accident, based on any of these possible causes:
- Unmarked zones
- Excessive speed
- Open holes or trenches
- Construction debris on the road
- Construction workers in lanes and outside the construction zone
- Uneven driving lanes, or lanes that are unmarked or improperly marked
Understanding Road Work Construction
Construction is a common operation on roadways, and because of the added challenges of these zones, it is often recommended to find detours and avoid these areas as much as possible for the sake of safety. Roadways without construction are risky enough with some of the aggressive driving habits that go on around us, and adding heavy equipment and construction workers and various barriers and other objects can make things even more treacherous. This is why many states have decreased speed limits and doubled fines for speeding through construction zones compared to the rest of the roadways.
There is way too much going on in a construction zone for anyone to drive too aggressively or drive distracted, but that sometimes happens as well. It is important in a construction zone to not do anything that might complicate the issue should an auto accident take place. It’s always best to be extra-defensive when approaching a construction zone; do not use your phone, do not eat, keep both hands on the wheel and remain observant of your surroundings.
If you take a defensive stance and you are still involved in an auto accident inside a construction zone, make sure you protect your rights with a Memphis personal-injury attorney who will thoroughly research and investigate the circumstances surrounding your accident and make sure that liability is placed where it belongs so you can get resolution as quickly and fairly as possible.
Construction zones are for roadways. Don’t let them construct chaos and pain in your life. Make sure you have a legal professional on your side to help you navigate through the chaos and ride a smooth road to health and wholeness.