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Road Construction Accidents: Motorists and Workers

For motorists and workers, road construction zones are perilous places. The state of Texas constantly builds, repairs, and maintains roads. However, construction zones have higher accident rates. For example, Waco law enforcement has already reported accident rate upticks along an I-35 construction project [1]. Yesterday in Dallas, a van flipped in a construction zone, killing one worker and injuring another [2]. Although there are precautions motorists should take and guidelines construction entities must follow to make them as safe as possible, construction zones are still dangerous.

Motorists and vehicle passengers make up the vast majority of fatalities in roadway construction zones [3]. The Texas Department of Transportation lists driver inattention and speeding as the primary causes of accidents. Notwithstanding, unavoidable accidents can occur from equipment failure nearby, roadway obstructions, and unsafe conditions.

Cautious and attentive driving can counter many avoidable accidents. Reduce your speed according to posted signage and to road conditions. Slow down by at least 20 mph for vehicles and workers on the side of the road-it's the law and fines can reach $2,000. Focus your attention on driving your path of travel; heed objects by the road, and prepare for sudden stops and lane closures. Put your phone away. Leave plenty of following distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you to prevent rear-ending and to increase your scope of vision. Above all, stay vigilant for the unexpected.

For construction workers, construction zones are doubly hazardous. The abnormal traffic patterns accompany the inherent dangers of construction. Common road construction accidents include the top "fatal four hazards"-falling, struck-by object, electrocution, and caught-between hazards. From 2003-2015, Texas had the most worker deaths at road construction sites [4]. Although employers are required to ensure the safest working environments possible, they do not always.

Traffic accidents in construction zones and construction accidents can result from third party negligence by a government entity, municipality, or contractor. Construction operators must adhere to certain guidelines for the protection of motorists and workers, and they can be at fault if the zone deviates from approved plans, creates dangerous conditions, or if the entity fails to adjust necessary safety measures [5]. Chronic complaints about unsafe road conditions and construction zone roadways with multiple accidents can indicate potential construction zone negligence. Construction entities have legal obligations to ensure safe road conditions. They are also required to protect workers to their best of their abilities.

If you or a loved one has been affected by an auto accident in a construction zone, call our specialized attorneys at Wyatt Law Firm for a free consultation. If you as an employee have been injured in a construction accident, call Wyatt Law Firm before accepting worker's compensation: you may be entitled to more than your employers offer. Call Wyatt Law Firm, Ltd. at 210-255-2231 for a free, confidential case review. Our personal injury, auto accident, and construction accident lawyers have years of specialized experience handling cases in these areas. We seek justice and maximum compensation. We will fight for you.

References

  1. Soto, C. (2019, May 23). Waco: As work starts on I-35 project, traffic accidents jump. Retrieved May 29, 2019, from https://www.kwtx.com/content/news/Waco--As-work-starts-on-I-35-project-traffic-accidents-jump-510329161.html

  2. FOX4News.com Staff. (2019, May 28). Worker killed after van slams into Dallas construction zone. Retrieved May 29, 2019, from http://www.fox4news.com/news/worker-killed-after-van-slams-into-dallas-construction-zone

  3. Texas Department of Transportation. (n.d.). Work Zones. Retrieved May 29, 2019, from https://www.txdot.gov/driver/share-road/work-zones.html

  4. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, & Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.). Highway Work Zone Safety. Retrieved May 29, 2019, from https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/highwayworkzones/

  5. Johnson, R. P. (2016, Winter). The Twists and Turns in a "Killer" Road Case. AIEGVOICE, 10-16.

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