Road Construction and the Risk of a Car Accident
Roadways provide a fast and convenient way to travel to work, school, and other essential locations. Unfortunately, continual wear and tear eventually leads to road damages that can prove hazardous for drivers. Road construction repairs damage and restores road surfaces to make travel safe again, but road construction itself can also be a hazard.
Despite the many warnings and safety systems in place to reduce road construction risks, car accidents frequently happen in work zones. Road construction car accidents can result in catastrophic injuries or fatalities. Here, the Bellevue, WA, car accident lawyers at Quick Law Group, PLLC discuss some of the greatest dangers of road construction sites.
Reduced Lanes of Traffic
In areas of road construction, it is common for lanes of traffic to be shut down while work is completed. Any time that lanes of traffic are closed, there should be ample warnings given to drivers, including signs, placement of construction cones, and possibly construction workers directing traffic. Unfortunately, signage in a construction area is not always clear, and sometimes drivers fail to pay attention and follow the instructions. In either of these cases, having to maneuver a sudden lane change due to a shut down significantly increases the risk of a car crash.
Changes in Speed
When traveling through a work zone, Bellevue drivers should reduce their speed. Reducing driving speed is necessary to adapt to narrower roadways, accommodate the presence of construction equipment and crews, and allow plenty of time to react if a hazard presents itself. Drivers who ignore posted speed limit changes put drivers and workers at risk for an accident.
Route detours are another common risk of road construction sites. When drivers are forced off their usual route and detoured into areas that are not familiar, they tend to make more mistakes. They may be too busy looking for route signs to pay proper attention to the task of driving, or they may make sudden turns or maneuvers that make a car accident more likely.
Presence of Construction Equipment and Crew
When a road construction site is active, it is busy with construction equipment, construction vehicles, and construction workers. Crowded work zones can be difficult to navigate, especially when construction vehicles are moving throughout the site. Drivers who are not careful to follow posted signs or detours, or those who attempt to pass around the outside of a work zone, can crash into construction equipment and put crew members in serious danger.
How Common Are Road Construction Car Accidents?
Given the many hazards that are present in road construction work zones, it is not surprising that car accidents are common in these areas. According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), work zones contain a combination of factors that contribute to crashes, injuries, and fatalities.
The FHWA reports that fatal crashes in work zones increased by 11 percent in 2019, even while fatal crashes outside of work zones decreased by two percent. During that year, 842 people were killed in work zone crashes. Of these, 690 were drivers and passengers, and 140 were pedestrians and bicyclists.
Contact Our Practice
If you or a loved one has been injured in a road construction car accident, the lawyers at Quick Law Group, PLLC, can assist you in holding liable parties accountable for accident damages. To discuss the details of your accident with our legal team, send us a message online, or call our Bellevue law firm at (425) 576-8150.