Car Accidents in Road Work Zones

Car Accidents in Road Work Zones

Driving on high speed roadways such as major highways and interstates is dangerous enough when you are enclosed in a big metal shell that weighs over a ton. Can you imagine what it’s like for those who work on the roadways to make roadways safer, more efficient, and improve your overall driving experience? It’s unsettling to consider road workers on foot near such high-speed lanes, but roadways need regular maintenance.

According to the Association for Safe International Road Travel, over 37,000 people die in road crashes each year in the US, with an additional 2.35 million victims injured or disabled. In 2010, 87,606 car accidents occurred in work zones, amounting to 1.6% of the total number of crashes that year (5,419,345). Of these, 1,886 occurred in Pennsylvania work zones resulting in 23 fatalities, 4 of which were road construction workers. Throughout the US that year a total of 106 road construction workers were killed on the job. The latest year for which there are work zone crash statistics in Pennsylvania is 2014, when 47% of all work zone car crashes resulted in injuries or fatalities.

A common trait of work zone accidents is that they typically occur under good driving conditions weather-wise, as most road construction takes place on clear days. Spring and summer bring about the most accidents as the weather typically improves during these months.The more road work is performed, the more workers on the field, the greater the chances are that an accident takes place. Road work also increases the number of hazards on the roadways, such as debris that escapes the work zone and into neighboring traffic lanes. Even the signs that alert drivers of road work taking place can be confusing to some, leading to unsafe driving practices.

To help reduce car crashes in work zones in Pennsylvania, the state has enacted laws to keep drivers and construction workers safe. Work zone safety laws include turning on your headlights and reducing your speed. All drivers must travel with their headlights on in all posted work zones, and not just the active ones. For vehicles with daytime running lights, it is required to turn the headlights on to activate the tail lights. There is a fine of $25 for not doing so, and if you are pulled over for another traffic violation you can be fined.

The state of Pennsylvania is dedicated to reducing speeding in work zones, so for construction projects of $300,000 or more, speed-monitoring devices are placed along the construction site to alert drivers of their speeds. Drivers caught driving dangerously, such as going 11 or more MPH over the speed limit in a work zone, are at risk of losing their driver’s license for 15 days. Fines for other reckless acts of driving are doubled when they take place around construction sites.

If you or a loved one has been injured in Pennsylvania due to a car accident in a work zone, Pennsylvania Car Accident Attorneys can match you with the strongest attorney in the network for your case. Call us for a free case evaluation today at (888)-970-2443.


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