Construction Zone Car Accidents: Safety & Liability
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that approximately 700 people die in work zones each year. With unexpected turns and detours, traffic cones, heavy construction equipment, workers present on the job site, and other potential hazards, all motorists must be careful in these work sites to avoid crashes. Here is what you need to know about staying safe in construction zones and what to do if someone else causes a construction zone car accident.
Tips to Stay Safe in Construction Zones
Here are some tips to help you stay safe while you are navigating construction zones:
Research the Route
If you know ahead of time that a route you are taking may have ongoing construction, consider alternatives to avoid the route. If this is not possible, give yourself some extra time and familiarize yourself with the detours so you will not come across surprises while you are actively driving.
Many motorists are guilty of getting distracted during their commute by talking on a phone, reading, adjusting vehicle controls, or paying attention to passengers instead of the roadway. While these distractions can be dangerous in normal driving conditions, they can be deadly in construction zones.
Road work zones often have many signs that direct people on what to do, including speed reduction signs, watch for worker signs, and detours. Follow the directions on these signs.
Watch Out for Workers
When possible, move to an adjoining lane so that you are not in the lane closest to workers. Slow down and be prepared to stop if you see workers on the roadway. Flaggers’ directions supersede any posted signs, so pay attention to what they tell you to do.
Give Others Space
Give other motorists as much space as possible while navigating work zones. Tailgating accidents are a leading cause of crashes in work zones. Move over into the open lane as soon as possible. Also, create space between your car and construction vehicles.
Who Is Responsible for Accidents in Construction Zones?
Like other types of accidents, there may be various parties responsible for accidents that occur in construction zones. Another driver may have been speeding, following too closely, not paying attention, or not following the signs or flaggers’ instructions.
In other situations, the city or private construction company creates a dangerous work zone and might be at fault for the accident. These parties might be negligent if they:
- Create a construction zone design that requires drivers to make dangerous maneuvers
- Create unnecessary hazards for motorists
- Fail to place warning signs
- Operate construction equipment in a way that impedes traffic
Proving Fault in a Construction Zone Accident
To recover fair compensation for your construction zone car accident claim, you will need to be able to show another party was at fault for the accident. Evidence that may help establish this may include:
- The accident report
- Traffic citations for another driver
- Photos or videos of the accident scene
- Witness statements
- Reports from accident reconstruction experts
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer
If you were hurt in a construction zone accident, reach out to the team at Mingo & Yankala, S.C. for help. We can review your particular situation and advise you on next steps. Complete our online contact form or call us at 414-273-7400 to get started with your free case review.