Summer is a popular time of year for road construction as companies can take advantage of good weather and longer working days. For those of us who are commuting, however, road construction work zones can be a nightmare. Not only do they slow traffic, they also present additional car accident hazards.
Road Construction Accident Hazards
Even under normal conditions, driving comes with many hazards. When road construction zones enter into the mix, there are plenty of additional reasons drivers should take extra precautions. Not only are there inherent dangers from work zones, if companies fail to follow federal and state safety regulations, it can be even worse. Drivers should be aware of the following hazards while going through construction zones:
● Excess dirt and debris – Work zones will almost inevitably leave roads uneven and full of dirt. Drivers should be particularly cautious in the event work crews don’t put up proper signage.
● Improper signage – One of the most important tools for navigating work zones is signage. Although there are regulations in place, construction workers often fail to utilize the correct signage in a construction zone.
● Construction machines and equipment – Drivers should remain alert for any machinery or equipment left by careless road crews.
● Hazardous turns – Construction crews may fail to properly measure the necessary time and space motorists need to negotiate a turn properly.
Major Reasons For Work Zone Accidents
A majority of accidents in road construction zones take place during daytime hours. Out of these, most are in zones where the speed limit is over 55 mph. Accidents may be caused either by motorists or construction crews. Some of the most common reasons accidents happen in construction zones include:
● Poor lighting;
● Failure to pass properly;
● Speeding motorists;
● Distracted driving; and
● Failure to obey signs posted by workers.
Most accidents in work zones are caused by drivers. Georgia, like many other states, enforces heavy penalties for speeding in work zones.
Preventing Work Zone Accidents
Drivers can take responsibility for their own actions in work zones. Follow these tips to avoid getting in a car accident in road construction areas:
● Stay alert – Work zones are subject to frequent changes. Avoid becoming distracted by cell phones and other activities that take focus off the road.
● Obey signage – Road crews post signs to help drivers and workers stay safe. Follow any signs posted.
● Slow down – It’s important to reduce your speed in construction zones, regardless of whether or not you see work going on.
● Change lanes and merge safely – Remember to give yourself plenty of space to merge into the correct lane and only make lane changes in designated areas.
● No tailgating – Construction zones often call for sudden braking. Approximately 30 percent of work zone accidents are rear-end collisions. Avoid making the mistake of tailgating.
● Be patient and plan ahead – No one likes waiting in a road work zone, but remember to stay patient and do what is directed. If you know work is happening, plan ahead and take an alternate route.
Contact A Georgia Car Accident Attorney
Do you have questions regarding your rights and ability to collect compensation for your car accident? For car accidents in Atlanta, Cobb County, and Georgia, contact Williams Elleby. Attorney Joel Williams has years of experience in car accident law. He offers free consultations and will help you understand your rights.