Avoiding Construction Zone Disasters
There’s nothing more annoying than driving in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Unless, of course, that traffic jam is accompanied by road construction! Sitting in long, hot lines of vehicles, hoping to avoid rock chips, and watching your watch as time drags and you recite your excuse for being late to an upcoming engagement to yourself can motivate some drivers to make hasty or reckless driving decisions. Don’t be one of them: the consequences can be far too great. And if you are the victim of someone else’s recklessness, contacting an aggressive local personal injury attorney would be a wise decision.
In Construction Zone
Forty-four construction zone workers have lost their lives on Mississippi roadways in the past several decades. These road crews are working to ensure that drivers have secure, drivable roads and infrastructure for motorists in the state, and are at risk every time a distracted, inebriated, impatient or reckless driver careens through a construction zone. But the danger is real for other motorists, as well. In 2015 alone, five drivers or their passengers were killed in construction zone collisions.
Statistics in Work Zones
The unfortunate fact is, crash data in work zones are frightening. According to a report by the Federal Highway Administration that looked at crash data from 2015, across the nation, work zone collisions constitute a problem worthy of notice. During that year:
- Roughly 100,000 work zone collisions took place;
- Over one-fourth of accidents resulted in injuries;
- 642 individuals were killed: that’s nearly two deaths every day somewhere in the country;
- Work zone fatalities occur at a higher rate than collisions in other settings;
- Two-thirds of work zone collisions occur in daytime hours;
- Over 40 percent of fatal work zone collisions were rear-end crashes;
- The second leading cause of construction worker fatalities is vehicle collisions.
Financial Consequences of these Accidents
What is the dollar amount connected with every construction zone injury? The US National Institutes of Health provides a conservative estimate of over $40,000. Fatalities cost even more, averaging about $4 million per incident. OSHA gives a more aggressive estimate of direct and indirect costs, however. Their approximations are $62,000 and $8.7 million, respectively. While these financial estimates are formidable, they cannot begin to compare to the emotional costs of life-altering injuries and fatalities.
Experts provide these safety tips for drivers navigating construction zones:
- Be patient: Recognize that workers have no desire to inconvenience you; they are simply earning a living by improving your roadways. Make it a point to give yourself extra time when you need to commute through construction zones.
- Use your turn signal: As motorists are squeezed into fewer lanes, be sure to signal your intent by using your blinker, and watching carefully for what other drivers are doing.
- Reduce your speed: Safety is so much more important than the few minutes you might save by racing through a work zone.
- Give yourself plenty of room: The most common accidents in work zones are rear end collisions—so give yourself a minimum of seven seconds of braking distance between yourself and other vehicles;
- Pay attention: Don’t allow distractions to turn you into yet another work zone statistic
Following an Accident
If a work zone accident causes serious harm, or even death, to you or a loved one, let the hard-hitting legal team at the office of Derek L. Hall, PC go to bat for you. Contact our Jackson office today for a free, confidential consultation.