Houston Work Zone Auto Accidents
Work zones create hazards for drivers on the roadway. Call Houston attorney, Bryant Fitts to find out your rights if you were injured in a construction zone.
What is a Work Zone Accident?
A work zone or a construction zone accident is any auto crash that takes place in or near a construction or work zone. In Texas, workers do not need to be present for it to be considered a work zone.
After a work zone auto crash occurs, the next question is what or who caused the accident? The cause of these accidents can be tricky. In some cases the accidents are caused by the construction company. Operating to work soon. And others the accident is caused by a driver. Some accidents are caused by a multitude of factors where the construction company and the driver caused the accident.
Responsibility of the construction company in a work zone accident
Anytime, a construction project is undertaken on an active roadway, certain precautions and procedures must be followed failure to follow these precautions or procedures can lead to serious accidents and fatalities. In our experience, we have found that construction companies can be held responsible for a work zone accident if the following occurs:
Improper or poor work zone design. It is essential that the work zone be designed safely so that the construction project can be completed without incident. This means that the design must not present hazards for drivers, such as forcing them to make sudden stops or turns.
Inadequate warning signs for the work zone. Work zones must have proper warning signs to alert motorist that a construction zone exists as they approach. Detours, lane changes or other required maneuvers must be properly marked with signs so that a motorist can navigate through the work soon failure to post adequate signage regarding the existence of a construction zone, and how to navigate through the work zone could create responsibility on behalf of the construction company.
Warning, detour, or direction signs are inaccurate or not visible. Signs must be visible to allow oncoming motorist, ample time to react and to prepare for the work zone. Often times, the signs are movable. If a construction company moves a sign during the work zone operations, the sign may no longer be visible to oncoming motorist. The construction company could be held responsible for any damages, which are caused as a result of inaccurate or invisible temporary road signage.
Improper placement of vehicles, or barricades, in or near the work zone. Construction companies must carefully, place barricades and vehicles, while working in a work zone next to a operating roadway. Placing vehicles or barricades too close to the roadway could trigger liability on behalf of the construction company.
Responsibility of drivers or motorist in a work zone
Drivers can also be held responsible for causing a work zone accident. Like all car accidents, distracted driving can cause a work zone accident. Texting and driving or general in attention while driving as a driver approaches a work zone can lead to the following:
Failing to observe signs, barricades, and cones. The vehicle, car or truck strikes construction equipment or enters the construction area despite being properly marked.
Failure to control speed when vehicles slow or are stopped. If a driver fails to control their speed when following a vehicle that is slowing down for a construction zone. Typically, this will trigger a rear-end work zone accident.
Traveling too fast while approaching a work zone. When drivers approach a work zone at a high rate or speed and they can’t slow down fast enough, this can cause a colission.
Failure to property merge into lanes. When work zones requires merging, drivers, for whatever reason, fail to properly merge or fail to observe to merge signs can lead to collisions with other drivers or leaving the road and crashing into the construction site or area.
Failing to pay attention to the roadway when it merges into the work zone, failing to heed warnings or observe the speed limit or the reduction in the speed limit can all lead to serious accidents in construction zones or work zones.
Construction Zone Accident Statistics
At any given time, there are more that 3,100 active work zones in Texas. Drives pass through them every day. In recent years, over 26,000 car accidents occured in work zones. Over the course of a year, there have been 244 deaths resulting into a 33% increase in traffic fatalities year over year. Over 850 individuals were seriously injured in work zone accidents. The injuries in work zone accidnets are real and the numbers indicate the following types of individual were killed over the course of a year:
- 195 motorist and a vehicle passengers
- 38 pedestrians
- 4 bicyclists, and;
- 3 roadside workers
If you have been injured in a work zone crash, contact Bryant Fitts, an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss who is responsible for the crash and provide you with the best options for the best medical care and compensation for your loss. Call Today 1-800-99-FITTS.