Driving through a road construction work zone in Georgia requires extra caution, but far too many motorists show a disregard for the safety of others and cause car accidents that result in severe injury or death.
The experienced personal injury lawyers from the Law Offices of Gary Martin Hays & Associates, P.C. examine the common issues drivers encounter in work zones and provide some helpful tips to avoid causing a crash.
Here's what you should know...
Work Zone Accidents On the Rise
Work zones are dangerous to motorists and roadside workers for a lot of reasons.
Typically, the site is a confusing mix of loud vehicles, workers moving in and out of the roadway, rough roads, caution signs, chaotic traffic, and inattentive drivers.
It’s far too easy, no matter how closely you pay attention, to become involved in an accident.
A recent report reinforces the concerns about safety.
No matter how you look at the numbers from the Federal Highway Administration, work zone accidents are posing a greater risk than ever before to motorists and workers.
Here are some of the tragic statistics:
- Total work zone fatalities jumped from 757 in 2018 to 842 in 2019. That’s an increase of 11%, even as overall roadway fatalities fell by 2%.
- Driver and passenger fatalities rose from 621 to 690.
- Pedestrian and bicyclist deaths increased from 131 to 140.
- Worker fatalities at road construction sites rose from 124 to 135.
- Topping the list of risks are accidents involving speeding (up 40%), rear-end collisions (29%), and commercial vehicles (16%).
Steps Drivers Can Take to Prevent a Crash
Drivers can protect roadside workers and other motorists by following common sense and some simple rules, such as:
- Checking the latest traffic conditions before beginning a trip. You may want to change your route to avoid work zones, which will delay your progress to your destination.
- Being aware of changing conditions. Work zones, including traffic patterns, signage, and speed limits, will vary from day to day as the project progresses.
- Watching out for roadside workers. They are working under noisy conditions and may not be aware of nearby traffic.
- Maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles. Watch out for sudden stops due to changing traffic conditions. In 2019, 25% of fatal work zone crashes were due to rear-end collisions.
- Paying special attention to large vehicles. These vehicles can block your view of traffic and other hazards. They also can't maneuver as easily as smaller passenger vehicles, so avoid sudden lane changes.
- Avoiding distractions. Whether you're talking on your phone, texting, or focused on a conversation with a passenger, distracted driving takes your attention away from the road and puts you and everyone else in a potentially dangerous situation.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer if You've Been Injured in a Work Zone Accident
If you've been injured in a work zone accident, either as a worker who got hit by a car or in a crash caused by a negligent driver, you have recourse under Georgia law to pursue compensation for your losses.
Depending on the circumstances of your injury, you may be entitled to compensation for your current and future medical bills, lost income if you can't work, loss of earning capacity, replacement services, your pain and suffering, and other damages that may apply to your case.
Don't rely on an insurance company to do the right thing — insurance adjusters are known for delaying, disputing, and denying injury claims, and if they do make you a settlement offer, it's probably going to be for much less money than what you're actually entitled to.
Let our knowledgeable and experienced personal injury lawyers maximize the value of your claim and fight for every dollar you deserve.
With offices in Duluth, Atlanta, Lithonia, College Park, Gainesville, and Marietta, our law firm has been serving clients in Georgia since 1993 and has earned more than $1 billion for injured victims and their families.
Find out what we can do for you. Contact us today for a free consultation.