Construction Zone Accidents: Who is At Fault?
Nobody likes to see signs on the roadways warning about a construction zone ahead. This often means reduced speeds, changes in the traffic flow and the possibility of roadway hazards. If you are involved in a construction zone accident, how do you know who is at fault?
Construction Zone Related Accidents
According to the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), there were over 27,000 construction zone accidents in 2018, resulting in 8,900 serious injuries and 52 fatalities. Most of these accidents are caused by distracted drivers, or by misleading or confusing traffic signs and signals inside the construction zone. Some of the other most common reasons for construction zone accidents are:
- Misplaced or missing construction signage
- Guardrail accidents
- Negligence of workers or drivers
Most construction zone accidents are rear-end collisions caused by speeding and distracted driving.
Preventing Construction Zone Accidents
There are some ways to protect yourself from falling victim to this type of accident. GDOT recommends staying aware while on the roadways and preparing for the construction zone before you enter it by reducing your speed and distancing yourself as much as possible from surrounding vehicles. Make sure you are knowledgeable of road signs that you could see. If you need a refresher, the Georgia Driver’s Manual is available for review online.
Always be prepared to yield to vehicles entering the roadway. Georgia’s Move Over Law requires drivers to move over a lane when emergency vehicles need to pass, so make sure you are maintaining distance to allow others to merge if necessary. If the signage is confusing, slow down, but try to maintain a constant speed, even if it’s slower. Speeding in a construction zone is not only dangerous but comes with hefty fines if you are pulled over.
The biggest cause for construction zone accidents is inattention. It can be tempting to reach for your phone while traffic is at a standstill, but that can be deadly. If you are stopped in a construction zone, keep an eye out for distracted drivers around you. When traffic starts to move again, accelerate slowly in case traffic suddenly stops. This can prevent a rear end collision.
Who is At Fault?
As we have discussed, most construction zone accidents are contributed to faulty driver behavior, but there are other factors to consider in these types of accidents.
- Commercial Trucks – large vehicles are at a disadvantage in cramped construction zones, but the chances of a crash multiply if the driver is distracted.
- Highway Department or Construction Contractor – if the construction zone is improperly marked, if the signage or traffic signals are faulty, if the temporary lanes are not clearly marked, or if the temporary lanes are too narrow for traffic to flow easily.
- Equipment Manufacturer – if equipment malfunctions, or if construction vehicles enter or leave the roadway with no warning, or if construction equipment is improperly stored too close to the roadway.
Unfortunately for drivers, construction zones are a commonplace occurrence. While the end result is a better functioning roadway, the dangers these zones present can cause accidents. If you or a loved one have been injured or died as a result of a construction zone accident, the office of Dwayne L. Brown is here to assist you with your case. Our team has the experience to review your accident and explain all of your options. We will investigate the site and determine the factors involved in the crash and will put all of our energy into serving you. Contact us today or call 678-505-0559 to schedule your free consultation.
Posted on behalf of the Law Office of Dwayne L. Brown