During the summer months, your taxpayer dollars are hard at work revitalizing and repairing city streets, highways and bridges. But driving through road construction can be like driving through a minefield of hidden hazards decorated with neon orange cones and signs. What's more annoying than lane closures, detours and slow-moving traffic? If that isn't enough to grind your gears, the chances of getting into an accident also increase when the roads are under construction. Below are some of the more common accidents drivers experience when traveling through streets undergoing construction.
Common Road Construction Accidents
Rear-end collision: A rear-end collision can happen at any time, but during road construction, drivers may short-stop more frequently, causing an accident to occur. Depending on the force of impact, a rear-end collision can result in minor to severe injuries to the driver's and passenger's heads, necks and backs. You can reduce your chances of a rear-end accident by increasing your distance from the car in front of you and obeying the posted speed signs that caution drivers to decrease their speeds when workers are present.
Side impact collision: A side impact collision (also known as a T-bone or broadside collision) can cause car occupants devastating injuries. Unlike in the front of your vehicle, if another driver hits you from the side, you and your passengers are more likely to receive injuries to your head and body from glass and lacerations should the windows break. Side airbags, like frontal airbags, are designed to deploy in a moderate to severe crash. While frontal airbags are standard in all vehicles, side airbags are not. If your car does not have side airbags or the airbags are not triggered to activate, you could find yourself or your passengers with serious injuries.
Tire punctures, blowouts and flats: If you're near a construction work zone, you'll inevitably see a car or two up ahead on the side of the road with a frustrated driver standing nearby. Punctures from stray nails, jagged pieces of asphalt and glass can cause your tires to go from full to flat in no time. Tire blowouts are also common from the uneven roadways and the effect of the summer heat on your tires. If you experience a road hazard such as a blown tire or flat, pull off safely to the side of the road or shoulder of the highway to inspect your vehicle and contact your insurance company for roadside assistance.
Construction worker injury: More than 20,000 workers are injured in road construction work zones each year. Road construction work is done in proximity to cars, trucks and motorcycles that still need to occupy the roadways, placing them in danger of being struck, runover or backed into by another vehicle. Motorists need to be aware of construction personnel during construction, avoiding distractions such as texting while driving, eating/drinking while driving and fidgeting with electronics. Drivers should never speed, drive under the influence of drugs and alcohol, or drive drowsy in work zones.
Drive Confidently During Road Construction
The most important thing any motorist can do when driving around or near road construction sites is to be attentive to the road and the workers present. Accidents, injuries and fatalities can easily be prevented with a little common sense and good judgement. However, when an accident does occur, you need an experienced personal injury attorney to fight for your rights and obtain the compensation necessary to cover medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. The attorneys at SKG have handled and won numerous construction traffic accident and construction worker accident cases. Call our office now for a free case evaluation at (800) 350-FIRM and put our attorneys to work for you.