People are always glad for the arrival of spring and the warmer weather, but it’s also the time when orange barrels go out on the roads, signifying road construction season. Unfortunately, impatient, unsafe drivers put other motorists and construction workers at risk of serious accidents in these work zones.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), most work-zone accidents involve roads where the speed limit is over 50 miles per hour. NHTSA also found that motorists, not construction workers, are at greatest risk of injury:
- Eighty-five percent of fatalities were the driver or a passenger in a vehicle. Drivers were the most frequent fatalities.
- Over the last five years, over 200,000 people have been injured.
- Rear-end collisions were the most common type of accident.
Driving That Puts Other Motorists in Serious Danger
It is dangerous when drivers don’t practice safe driving in construction zones—especially on the highways where people are going at faster speeds. Yet, distracted and impatient drivers continue to engage in these unsafe driving practices:
- Not staying alert and being aware of their surroundings. It is critical to watch out for signs instructing drivers of lane changes and speed limit reductions, other vehicles, and construction workers who may be outside the construction zone.
- Driving too fast. Speeding is the number one cause of construction zone accidents.
- Not merging early. Failing to merge early results in bottlenecks in traffic and can cause accidents, especially if drivers try to force their way into traffic that hasn’t stopped to allow them in.
- Tailgating other vehicles. It’s crucial to leave more space between vehicles than normal in a work zone. Drivers tend to brake more frequently in construction zones, where there is often only one narrow lane and nearby construction workers to worry about.
- Not keeping headlights on. Turning on headlights not only helps drivers see those around them, but also makes their vehicles more visible to others.
- Driving while distracted. Talking on a cellphone, eating, or adjusting music are especially dangerous in construction zones, where the traffic patterns or speed limit can change quickly, and other vehicles are braking frequently.
- Not expecting the unexpected. Workers or work equipment could enter the roadway unexpectedly and other vehicles could change lanes or slow down without notice.
Accidents caused by unsafe driving in construction zones can result in serious, life-changing injuries to the victims. A work zone is more hazardous than regular driving conditions and drivers have a greater duty to drive carefully to protect construction workers. If you were injured in an accident caused by a dangerous driver in a work zone, you may be entitled to compensation.
Were you injured in an automobile accident where the other driver was at fault? Our compassionate and knowledgeable legal team has extensive experience pursing accident claims and is here to help you understand your legal options. Call us today at 800-989-6385 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a free consultation.