Accidents in Construction Zones by Eric Shrefler
Truckers make a good point when they say that there are only two seasons: winter and construction. For areas where the weather doesnt deal with the extremes of ice and snow, it is construction season twelve months of the year. Construction zones present some of the most dangerous driving conditions, and these are complicated by the presence of highway workers and speeding vehicles. The many contributing factors leave no doubt why there are so many accidents in construction zones.
Drivers At Fault
One report from 2000 pointed out how none of the efforts made to slow traffic in construction zones worked except the presence of a highway patrol or police officer. Drivers continue to speed through these narrow and cluttered areas. The consequence has been a rise in the number of accidents in construction zones.
Drivers who are speeding, intoxicated, distracted, confused, or not driving according to the limitations of the roadway often cause accidents in construction zones.
Construction Companies at Fault
Because they are responsible for directing the traffic through the construction zone, a mistake or bad timing in communication between workers risks head-on collisions and rear-enders. Construction workers are responsible for lining up the cones or barrels to create temporary safe lanes for traffic flow. They are responsible to place adequate warning signs that redirect traffic away from the construction and workers.
Construction vehicle drivers are often preoccupied with the work they are doing and unaware of traffic. Occasionally they back construction vehicles out into the lanes to reposition themselves. Many need to enter the lanes to get from one place to another, but seem unaware of oncoming traffic. Others just have little room to work to begin with and must maneuver close to flowing traffic.
Construction company workers are responsible for the safe use and placement of equipment that is sometimes left in places dangerous to drivers in the flow of traffic. Vehicles in traffic often overturn cones and barrels, possibly. But when they arent repositioned, they present a hazard to the drivers.
Workers dont always stay out of the way of traffic, posing a hazard to drivers. But drivers who are speeding put workers at risk, also. With over 11,000 annual construction zone accidents causing about 800 deaths, construction companies have a huge responsibility to prevent serious injury from construction zone accidents.
Highway Departments at Fault
Some states grant municipal or governmental immunity to highway departments and state departments of transportation. You will need to contact a lawyer to determine what your options are after a construction zone accident.