Why So Many Crashes Occur Near Road Construction Zones
Construction zones are necessary to keep our roads in good repair and build new ones. Adequate roads are essential for allowing people and commerce to flow smoothly throughout Georgia. However, construction zones must be properly administered to protect the automobile drivers, pedestrians, bicycles, and motorcycle riders who use them.
Construction zones can be hazardous places with unsafe conditions that lead to serious accidents, which cause fatalities and catastrophic injuries. In a recent year, there were 63 fatalities in Georgia construction zones, and seven of these victims were pedestrians, according to GDOT.
If you were injured in a Georgia construction zone accident, you may be facing severe injuries that require lifelong medical treatment and assisted living care. You have the right to seek compensation to get the money you need to cover your expenses.
Construction Zone Accidents Caused by Unsafe Conditions
A construction zone is any portion of the roadway where people are working to improve the physical structure of the roadway, shoulders, and adjacent features. A construction zone may be operated by state, county, and municipal employees or by private contractors hired by the government to perform a designated task.
Whether public officials or private contractors manage a construction zone, safeguards must be implemented to protect everyone who travels through one. All employees in construction must be screened to make sure they have a safe work history and be properly trained to prevent accidents.
There must be posted signs that instruct drivers to slow down before they enter a construction zone and signage within the zone that clearly informs drivers and others how to proceed. Construction zones must be sensibly designed to eliminate hazards. Unsafe conditions that cause constructive zone accidents include:
- Falling objects
- Negligent hiring
- Poorly marked lanes
- Obstructions left in the roadway
- Lack of appropriate signage
- Poorly designed construction zones
- Insufficient traffic control
- Inadequate employee supervision
- Not enough flaggers to maintain safe traffic flow
- Potholes, drop-offs, and uneven grade
- Inadequate lighting at night
- Flaggers who provide unclear or unsafe directions
- Heavy machinery moving into lanes where people are driving
- Failure to mark hazards with cones, hazard lights, or barriers
Construction Zone Accidents Caused by Unsafe Drivers
Construction zone crashes may be caused by careless drivers. Drivers can be frustrated by construction zones, and they don’t always take the necessary precautions. A major problem is drivers who fail to slow down as they approach a construction zone. The State of Georgia has strict penalties for speeding in construction zones that include up to 12 months in jail and fines as high as $2,000.
Common types of construction zone crashes include rear-end collisions caused by drivers who follow too closely and sideswipes that result when drivers merge into another lane. Unsafe driving practices that cause construction zone collisions include:
- Distracted driving
- Failure to obey instructions
- Ignoring traffic signs
- Failure to signal a lane changes
Who Is Liable for Work Zone Injuries?
Your personal injury attorney will investigate the accident by reviewing the police report, interviewing witnesses, and collecting accident scene photos, surveillance camera video, and physical and forensic evidence. Your attorney may also subpoena documents and call upon expert witnesses to strengthen your case.
When the investigation is complete, your attorney will file a claim or a lawsuit that includes damages such as medical expenses, in-home nursing care, pain and suffering, occupational therapy, reduced quality of life, time missed from work, and reduced earning capacity.
Anyone whose negligent actions contributed to your injuries can be held liable for your injuries. Liable parties may include:
- Private contractors
- Other drivers
- Construction zone workers and foremen
- Manufacturers of defective equipment
- Public officials responsible for maintaining safe roadways
Are You Suffering from Catastrophic Injuries?
At Butler Prather LLP, our Georgia personal injury lawyers have been helping people get the money they need to recover after an accident for over 35 years. Our partners are recognized by Super Lawyers, which bases its reviews on peer recognition and 12 separate markers of achievement.
Our firm has won hundreds of millions of dollars for clients in over 30 states, including nine verdicts that exceed $100 million and more than 60 verdicts and settlements of over $10 million.
Call us at (706) 322-1990 to schedule your complimentary consultation today.