We have pretty much all experienced it. You are running behind schedule; you left the house later than expected and someone is waiting for you on the other end of your drive, but now you have just pulled up to a road construction zone and extreme frustration has set in. You may feel like ignoring the posted signs that are standing between you and your destination.
The reality is that it is extremely important that you reconsider that thought. While it can be tremendously aggravating to be slowed down on the way to your destination, there are important safety reasons why construction zone rules exist. Plenty of people each year make poor choices in construction zones and live (or don’t live) to regret it. In 2008, 720 Americans were killed in construction zone accidents, not to mention the non-fatal crashes that occur each year.
Frequently, construction accidents are caused by vehicles exceeding the appropriate speed in the designated zone. It is not only the vehicle occupants who are at risk in these areas, but also the construction zone workers who are out on the road. These workers have one of the most dangerous jobs in terms of fatality rates. The California Department of Transportation offers these construction zone tips:
- Follow the speeds posted in the designated zone.
- Remain alert and free of distractions.
- Maintain awareness of your surrounding and any workers out on the road.
- Do not allow yourself to be distracted by talking or texting on a cell phone.
- Use your headlights so that your vehicle is easily spotted.
- Be diligent and considerate of the rules of the road and avoid tailgating and abrupt lane changes.
The US Department of Transportation mentions motorists often fail to consider their vehicles are speeding by in very close proximity to workers. Speed is discussed as being the number one cause of construction zone accidents. Drivers also need to be mindful of the fact that while the workers have a dangerous job, according to another article on WorkZoneSafety.org, vehicle occupants are the most common victims of construction accidents.
Unfortunately, increasing work zone fines has failed to curb poor driving habits in these areas and has not lessened fatalities. The addition of rumble strips and electronic speed displays have also had no real impact. The use of police stationed in marked cars at the construction sites is the only measure that has a marked impact, but is not used often due to staff shortages.
Construction zone accidents can be tragic and are often very preventable. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a construction accident you should speak with an attorney who has experience in this area. We regularly deal with premise liability and vehicle accident cases, give us a call at 1-877-405-4313 or (214) 651-6100, or complete our online form for a free evaluation of your case. A qualified Dallas personal injury lawyer will provide you with guidance regarding any potential claim you may have.