Common Causes of Construction Zone Accidents
It’s never really any fun trying to drive through a construction zone. Thankfully, most drivers show the proper amount of caution, and nothing happens. But there are some instances where a terrible accident occurs, usually because of some type of negligence. When this happens, that can result in life-altering injuries that can mean years of intensive treatment.
If you’ve suffered an injury in a car accident that occurred in a construction zone, you may be able to take legal action if you’re not to blame. However, in order to have the best chance of getting full and fair compensation, you’re going to need the help of an experienced attorney – one who has a track record of winning these kinds of cases.
At the Jones Law Group, that’s exactly what our attorneys have. We’ll do whatever we can to make sure you get every penny you have coming to you. If you would like to schedule a free consultation, please contact us online or give us a call at (727) 571-1333.
Construction Zone Car Accident Statistics
Tragically, hundreds of people lose their lives in construction zone accidents each year. From 1982-2019, nearly 30,000 motorists tragically died. This averages out to nearly 800 a year. The worst year was 2002, when 1,186 people were killed.
Of course, these types of accidents aren’t just dangerous for drivers, but for construction workers as well. More than 2,100 of them died from 2003-2019. From 2003-2017, Florida had the second-most worker fatalities with 132. Only Texas, with 218, had more.
What makes these deaths even more tragic is that they’re needless. The vast majority of these accidents could have been avoided if drivers, construction workers and construction companies had just been more careful. These are just some of the reasons why construction zone accidents take place.
Poorly Designed or Placed Signage
You would assume that the people in charge of warning motorists of an upcoming construction zone would be incredibly careful. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Warning signs might be placed too close to where people are working, and drivers don’t have enough time to slow down as a result.
There are other instances where signage is so confusing that drivers have no idea where they need to go. They can be so confused, in fact, that they might mistakenly go the wrong way, leading to a potentially devastating head-on collision.
Improperly Placed or Broken Barricades
In order to do the best possible job of preventing accidents, workers must properly stage construction zones. This means laying out reflective cones in a way that makes it easy for motorists to identify an area where road work is being performed. Drivers must be able to spot a construction zone long before they come across any workers at all.
If the cones and/or barriers aren’t placed well enough in advance of a construction zone, or there aren’t enough of them, that could lead to a disastrous collision.
Construction workers and companies aren’t the only ones to blame, of course. Negligent motorists cause their fair share of construction zone accidents as well. Sometimes the cause is aggressive driving brought on due to a bout of road rage.
Someone might be in such a hurry to get home that they become enraged that they’ll have to slow down because they’re entering a construction zone. They might have had a bad day at work, they’re having family issues, or they might be mad for one of 100 other reasons. They could easily decide to speed through a work zone, oblivious to the potential consequences. This, of course, could cause an accident that leads to catastrophic injuries, or even worse.
Distracted driving is a big enough problem during regular traffic conditions. When someone is talking on their phone, or fiddling with their radio station in a construction zone, it doesn’t take much of an imagination to think about what could happen. Road configurations can change rapidly in a work zone. If a driver isn’t paying attention, they won’t be able to react fast enough to those changes. That could potentially have deadly results.
Construction Debris in the Road
There are times where a construction worker will carelessly leave debris in the road, or fail to make sure equipment is located far away from oncoming cars. This can obviously create a very hazardous situation. Materials in the road could puncture a tire, causing a potentially dangerous blowout.
Road Grade Changes
If you’ve ever driven in a construction zone, you know all too well that the highway can suddenly change grade, either moving slightly downward or upward. If someone is going too fast, even a seemingly slight bump could cause them to lose control of their car.
Construction projects will often take place late at night, in order to reduce inconvenience to as many motorists as possible. Unfortunately, that often means that workers will erect extremely bright lights in order to be able to see what they’re doing. These lights can easily blind drivers, making it almost impossible for them to safely navigate a construction zone.
Construction workers can be careless at times. They can drop a tool that bounces off the ground and strikes a car’s windshield. They can be driving a piece of equipment that suddenly appears out of nowhere, striking oncoming vehicles in the process.
Attorneys will often call in expert witnesses to reconstruct an accident. In many instances, these experts can show how the negligence of a construction worker contributed to a collision. This evidence can be very powerful, helping strengthen an accident victim’s case.
Construction companies can often be held liable when they don’t properly set up detours. A detour can be incredibly confusing to a motorist who’s already unfamiliar with a stretch of road they’re traveling. If detours don’t provide clear, easy-to-understand instructions, that can greatly increase the risk of an accident taking place.
How Can an Attorney Help me After a Construction Zone Auto Accident?
A skilled attorney will work to gather the evidence needed to prove that a construction zone accident occurred due to the negligence of a construction worker, a construction company, or another driver. This evidence could make or break an injury victim’s ability to obtain full compensation for the suffering they’ve been forced to endure.