Austin, Texas is one of the quickest-growing cities in the United States. As more and more new residents move to Austin, the city has to update its infrastructure to keep up with the ever-increasing demand on its roadways. Updates to infrastructure means lots of construction zones, which can be dangerous for drivers and construction workers.
Understanding what causes car accidents and injuries in construction zones can make it easier to prevent them.
In construction zones, rear-end crashes are one of the most common types of fatal car accident to occur. These happen when a vehicle cannot stop or slow down in time to avoid hitting the stopped or drastically slowed vehicle it is behind. Many different types of negligence can put a driver at risk of causing a rear-end collision, such as using a phone while driving or failing to pay attention to the posted traffic signs.
Rear-end collisions are especially prevalent in construction zones because in these zones, drivers are often forced to slow down quickly and maneuver through temporary lanes. These lanes are often narrow and can be confusing when they do not align with the painted lines on the roadway.
A few issues stick out as common causes of rear-end collisions in construction zones. These issues are discussed below.
Construction zones often require drivers to merge into single lanes. This requires driver attention. When a driver is using a cell phone, reading a map on his or her vehicle’s onboard navigation system or even a paper map, eating, or simply looking more at the scenery than the road, he or she is distracted and at a greater risk of being involved in a collision.
Drivers have to slow down in construction zones for their safety and for the workers’ safety. In most construction zones, fines for speeding are higher than they are in non-construction zones because of the necessity of slowing down in these areas.
When a driver speeds through a construction zone, he or she can collide with another vehicle, a piece of equipment, or a worker. Workers can appear seemingly out of nowhere in these areas, especially at night when visibility is low.
COLLISIONS WITH TRACTOR TRAILERS
Collisions with tractor trailers are dangerous and often fatal anywhere they occur. In a construction zone, moving a large truck can be very difficult. When drivers are not patient with tractor trailers or do not give them adequate following or slowing distance, they put themselves, other motorists, and construction workers in danger of being injured or killed in accidents involving these large trucks.
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