A work zone is an area of a roadway or highway undergoing construction, maintenance, or utility-related repairs. And while these roadway construction zones are usually marked by signs and barriers that slow down traffic in the area, nonetheless, the risk of being in a work zone accident is extremely high.
This is evident from the large number of car accidents in work zones. Statistics show that each year, about 700 people die and 40,000 others are injured in construction zone crashes. “Interestingly, the number one cause of car crashes in work zones is driver error,” says our Philadelphia work zone accident attorney at The Law Offices of Greg Prosmushkin, P.C.
Causes of work zone accidents
Causes of motor vehicle collisions in work zones vary greatly, but with signage and heavy construction equipment blocking the view, unclear lanes obstructed by barriers, and a large number of vehicles trying to make their way through the work zone, it is not surprising that car accidents are bound to happen in construction zones.
More often than not, work zone crashes include head-on collisions when one of the motorists drives on the wrong side of the road, side-impact collisions when one of the motorists makes an unsafe lane change or attempts to make an illegal U-turn, and rear-end collisions when one of the motorists fails to maintain a safe distance in slow traffic.
Besides, many car accidents in work zones occur when a vehicle collides with objects like traffic signs, barricades, barriers, construction materials, and water or sand barrel crash cushions, all of which are almost always present in roadway construction zones.
Driver errors that lead to construction site accidents
As we have mentioned earlier, the number one cause of work zone collisions is driver error, but which negligent driving behaviors lead to this type of crashes in Philadelphia and elsewhere in Pennsylvania? Our experienced roadway work zone accident lawyer in Philadelphia has outlined some of the most common driver errors that lead to car crashes in roadway construction sites:
- Failure to maintain a safe distance
- Exceeding the posted speed limit in the work zone
- Performing an illegal U-turn
- Unsafely changing lanes
- Ignoring traffic signs and signals, which warn motorists of upcoming construction conditions and detours
- Getting distracted behind the wheel
- Unsafely merging into other lanes and
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
Can the construction company be liable for a work zone car crash?
Yes, driver error is the most common cause of work zone accidents, but it is not uncommon for construction companies performing construction, maintenance, or utility-related repairs in the work zone to be liable for accidents that occur in the area. For example, the construction company may be responsible for causing or contributing to a roadway work zone accident if it:
- Negligently set up a work zone site
- Failed to warn motorists of upcoming road conditions and detours
- Negligently operated construction equipment, which caused a car crash
- Failed to clearly show which lanes are open for motorists to use by placing traffic signs and barricades
- Failed to use adequate warning lights to warn drivers of hazards at night
- Placed excessive lighting or improperly placed lighting, which affected motorists’ vision
- Placed construction equipment, traffic signs, barricades, and other equipment in a way that blocked motorists’ view and
- Failed to maintain the work zone free of roadway hazards
Determining liability for a construction site accident can be tricky, which is why it is advised that you get legal assistance from a skilled work zone accident lawyer in Philadelphia or elsewhere in Pennsylvania. Contact The Law Offices of Greg Prosmushkin, P.C., to schedule a free case evaluation and discuss your case today. Call our offices at 215-543-7220.