You know it is time for warmer weather when you start seeing orange cones and construction zone signs on roads and highways in Norfolk. While it is important that our streets are repaired regularly, it can be inconvenient when it slows traffic. It can also become dangerous if a negligent driver causes a construction zone accident. The dangers of a catastrophic wreck are real. In 2015, there were 96,626 crashes in work zones—7.8 percent more than in 2014. This resulted in 25,485 injuries and 642 deaths.
Leading Causes of Construction Zone Accidents
Because of the dangers to construction workers and other motorists, drivers are required to slow down in a work zone—even when the workers are not there. However, many individuals are impatient and make driving errors that cause wrecks. Some of these negligent behaviors include:
- Tailgating. Motorists in construction zones often need to slow down or stop suddenly when the construction requires this or traffic become slower. When a driver is tailgating another vehicle, he has insufficient time to respond and can cause a rear-end collision.
- Speeding. Speeding was a factor in 28 percent of work zone wrecks in 2014. When a person is driving too fast, the severity of the injuries will be greater due to the increased force of the impact.
- Drunk driving. Intoxication is also a leading cause of accidents in work zones. Many driving abilities needed to drive safely in these areas, such as vision, ability to judge distances, and reaction time, are impaired when a driver is drunk.
- Distracted driving. Drivers need to stay alert for sudden stops and slowdowns—common where construction workers are working. When they are texting, talking on a cell phone, or looking at a GPS, they may not be prepared to react until it is too late.
- Merging. Lanes are often reduced in construction zones. Drivers who speed or wait until the last minute to merge can cause a tragic side-impact or rear-end collisions.
- Drowsy driving. If a person is driving when tired, it can impair his driving abilities in a similar fashion to drunk driving. This can result in him smashing into another vehicle or hitting a nearby construction worker while he is fighting to stay awake or falls asleep at the wheel.
Contact Our Car Accident Lawyers Today
If you were injured in a construction zone accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering from the negligent driver under Virginia law. Our experienced car accident attorneys are here to identify the liable parties and fight for the settlement that you deserve. We handle these cases on a contingency fee basis so that you do not owe any fees unless we settle your claim or win your case at trial. To learn more about our track record of success in these cases and how we can assist you, call our Norfolk office today to schedule your free initial consultation.