In Florida, road construction is dangerous for both drivers and road crews. Between 2015-2019, there were over 50,000 accidents in road construction zones. The bulk of accidents occur in the main activity area, where drivers often rear-end fixed objects, and it is not hard to understand why.
Orange barrels, barriers that create road hazards, and lane changes create a recipe for an accident. In some situations, improper signage, defects in the roadway or negligence on behalf of the road crew may be a contributing factor in a crash. In that situation, it is important to have a skilled construction accident attorney investigate the incident to see what a person’s rights may be. Contact an Orlando construction accident lawyer today to learn more.
How Are Road Construction Zones, Specifically, Dangerous?
The act of tearing up and repaving a road is dangerous. For most roads, there is no adequate way to detour traffic; therefore, the existing daily traffic has to be re-routed into fewer and fewer lanes. This creates uneasy drivers who may not be accustomed to tight spaces on these specific roads. As a result, congestion is the cause of most, if not all, construction zone accidents. While the act of driving will always pose a risk one way or another, a construction zone increases this risk. A construction zone reduces a driver’s ability to react and compacts the total number of daily drivers into a smaller space.
While congestion is a serious problem in a construction zone, there are other factors that make driving through a work area high-risk. A road crew has a minimum number of people who are required by law to be present. Such people can include:
- Road flaggers on state roads with multiple directions
- The crew that is digging up the asphalt, using large and heavy machinery
The crew must be skilled and free of distractions when working on the road. One mistake made by any person on the job site can create catastrophic damage.
What Can I Do to Be Safer in a Construction Work Zone?
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has come up with some helpful pieces of advice for navigating a construction site. The following are steps you can take to be safer in a construction zone:
- Expect delays. Leave early to reach your destination on time.
- Stay alert to work zone signs when the work is long-term or widespread. Be aware that traffic patterns in work zones can change daily, including lane shifts or alternating lane closures.
- Adjust your lane position away from the side where workers and equipment are located, when possible.
- Watch the traffic around you. Be prepared to react by reducing your speed, obeying signs and flaggers, and increasing your following distance.
- When you can, avoid work zones altogether by using alternate routes.
- If traffic is light and speeds are still relatively high, merge early. If congestion increases, traffic slows down and gaps between cars close. Merge lanes using the zipper method.
- Whether or not workers are present, use extreme caution when driving through a work zone at night.
- Adjust your lane position away from the side where workers and equipment are located when possible.
- Stay alert for mobile work zones. Line painting, road patching, and mowing all involve moving work zones. The workers may not appear immediately after the warning signs; therefore, you must exercise caution until you see a sign that says, “End Road Work.”
You should practice the above safety tips while driving through construction work zones. If you have been involved in a car accident in a work zone, you should seek the legal counsel of an experienced attorney.
Contact the Skilled Automobile Accident Attorneys at Wooten, Kimbrough, Damaso & Dennis, P.A.
Accident victims must remember that suffering injuries in a car accident does automatically entitle them to financial compensation. If you have been harmed on a road construction site, the car accident attorneys at Wooten, Kimbrough, Damaso & Dennis, P.A. are prepared to help you. Our attorneys will be able to evaluate the facts of your case and determine which damages, if any, you are entitled to receive.
Our team has more than 100 years of combined experience handling personal injury cases. We will launch a thorough investigation into the accident by reviewing police reports, interviewing witnesses, and analyzing evidence. We can also handle the day-to-day aspects of your case while you focus on recovering from the accident. To schedule a free consultation, you can call (407) 843-7060 or complete our online contact form.