Work zones include road work sites, construction job sites, and other temporary project areas where construction workers, contractors, and other professionals are building infrastructure or structures or are fixing them.
Work zones are a considerable risk for workers. In 2020 alone, 117 workers sustained fatal injuries on highway work sites. They also pose a risk of car accidents for those just passing through these areas.
How Work Zone Accidents Happen
Work zones pose a danger to drivers and pedestrians sharing the road for a few reasons:
- Heavy equipment can fail or operators of heavy equipment may not see a driver, which can lead to a crash.
- Signage can be confusing.
- Traffic can be very congested, leading to road rage and collisions.
- Work sites include many types of traffic, including trucks, pedestrians, cars, heavy machinery, and more, and all of this sharing a limited space can increase the risk of crashes.
- Usual traffic patterns may be disrupted–for example, two lanes of traffic can be turned into one temporarily—which can cause confusion and mistakes for drivers.
- Work zones can be a distraction for drivers, who stop to look and may lose focus on driving.
- Some work sites may not take due care to keep the site safe.
- Conditions and situations can change quickly on a site, and workers and drivers may not always be able to respond fast enough to prevent an accident.
Preventing Work Zone Accidents in Florida
There are a few things you can do to prevent being in a crash in a work zone:
- Avoid work sites if you can: Check traffic reports before you leave home and try to avoid works projects if possible. A longer detour can still save you time if a work zone creates a bottleneck.
- Slow down: Speeding is a leading contributor to work zone traffic crashes.
- Put away distractions: Drive defensively and be aware of your surroundings as you slowly make your way through a work zone. Expect the unexpected.
- Make eye contact: Try to make eye contact with workers near you on the site, so you can be sure they see you and are aware of you.
- Follow the indications of workers: Sometimes, conditions change on a site and signs become outdated or irrelevant. Follow the hand signals of workers if in doubt.
- Leave extra room: If possible, leave extra room in front of you, just in case. Leave extra room around large machinery and trucks, especially, since these vehicles have many blind spots.
What To Do If You’re in a Work Zone Motor Vehicle Accident
If you’re in a work zone accident, get emergency medical help if anyone is seriously injured. Take photos of the scene, if you can, and contact a motor vehicle accident claims attorney as soon as you can.
Work zone accidents pose extra dangers. The work may have been commissioned by a city or government entity, which limits legal claims. Large contractors also have powerful insurance companies with deep pockets and teams of attorneys. If you have been injured, you will need an experienced attorney, so contact Flaxman Law Group for a free consultation. Our team has more than 60 years of combined experience and we have recovered over $100 million for injured clients.