Construction Zone Auto Accidents: Common Causes
October 23, 2019
Car Accidents in Construction Zone Statistics
Whenever we see a construction zone on an expressway, highway, or any other type of road, the first thing we think about is how much of a delay the construction will cause us in getting to our destinations. What we do not necessarily think about, however, is the possibility of getting into a car accident because we are passing through a construction zone. According to the National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse, in 2017 alone, 799 fatalities occurred in the United States as a result of getting in car accidents in construction zones. This figure represents a 3% increase in the number of car crash fatalities that occurred in construction zones in the United States in 2016. With the number of construction zone auto accident fatalities on the rise, it is important to know the common causes of these types of accidents so that you can avoid getting into one yourself.
One common cause of construction zone auto accidents relates to the way in which construction companies and their workers will temporarily narrow roadway lanes to complete certain construction projects. In an effort to keep the road open, but to continue work on the surrounding area of the road, construction companies will sometimes narrow roadway lanes by placing cones or cement barriers to mark the temporary boundaries. Sometimes, these temporary boundaries are too narrow for SUVs or trucks to pass through, which will cause them to either hit the cones or scrape the sides of the cement barriers. When this occurs, the drivers of the SUVs and trucks may lose control of the vehicle and the impact of hitting the cones or cement barriers will cause the vehicles to spin into passing or incoming traffic, causing injury or death to the passengers of the out-of-control vehicle and any vehicle that is hit by the out-of-control vehicle.
Whenever there is a construction zone on the roadway, the company performing the construction has an obligation to adequately warn drivers of the upcoming construction zone, what dangers lie ahead if they drive through the construction zone, and, if the road ahead is closed, how to navigate to a road that may serve as a detour. Construction companies warn drivers primarily by placing signs either on the side of or above the road. When construction companies fail to place enough signs before the construction zone, use signs that fail to reasonably warn of the dangers ahead or indicate an appropriate detour, or use signs that are simply confusing, car accidents while passing through construction zones or while trying to use the highlighted detour occur at higher rates than when adequate signage is used. This is because drivers are used to driving on the roadway without the added obstacles of the construction. Failure to appropriately notify unsuspecting drivers of obstacles like changed traffic patterns or lane closures leads to an increase in the amount of car accidents that occur on that specific area of roadway.
When construction companies are re-paving roads, sometimes, drivers passing through a construction zone will have to drive on uneven pavement. Driving on uneven pavement can cause unsuspecting drivers to lose control of their vehicle and either spin out or hit vehicles or other objects near the road. This is especially true if the driver is driving at a high rate of speed and suddenly hits roadway that is uneven or unfinished.
Sudden Sharp Turns and Stops
For certain construction projects, construction companies must alter traffic patterns in order to allow drivers to pass through the construction zone safely. However, sometimes, construction companies alter traffic patterns in a manner that makes drivers engage in sudden sharp turns and stops. These sudden sharp turns and stops place even cautious drivers of getting into accidents with other vehicles because they do not suspect such a dramatic change in traffic pattern.
When a Construction Company May be Held Liable for a Construction Zone Auto Accident
If you or a loved one are involved in a construction zone auto accident caused by any of the causes listed above, then chances are that you or your loved one will be able to successfully sue the construction company for any damages suffered in the accident. Under Florida law, construction companies owe a duty to others, including drivers, to maintain safe construction sites and to warn passersby of any foreseeable dangers that may be present because of the construction. If they fail to do so and a car accident results because of this failure, then construction companies can likely be held liable for the car accident and will likely be responsible for paying any damages that may result to the victims of said car accidents.
Contact a Lake Worth Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Construction Zone Auto Accident Case in Florida
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a car accident that occurred in a construction zone in Florida? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.C. represent clients injured because of construction zone auto accidents in Pompano Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Pembroke Pines, Palm Beach, and throughout Florida. Call (561) 533-0345 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 813 Lucerne Avenue, Lake Worth, Florida 33460, as well as an office in Pompano Beach, Florida.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.