How Road Construction Can Lead to an Increase in Car Accidents
Roads in Amarillo are constantly being worked on, with new, major transportation projects changing the face of our highways. Construction on State Loop 335 has closed multiple roads and diverted traffic in the hopes of clearing congestion on the west side of the city. Whether the roads are being repaired, expanded, or changed entirely, road construction comes with a dangerous side effect – an increase in car accidents that can cause serious injuries and even death. This comes as no surprise, because construction zones often bring about changes in road conditions, decreased visibility, changed traffic patterns, different speed limits, and large machinery on the road. Amarillo road construction, while intended to help the city with traffic congestion, may lead to devastating car accidents.
When roads are under construction, the old road surface may need to be broken up and removed. This can create incredibly rough and uneven roadways throughout the construction project. Driving over damaged or hazardous sections of asphalt can quickly cause a vehicle to pop a tire, swerve, or have mechanical problems. Construction projects also create a good amount of debris that can spill out onto the roads outside of a construction zone. These conditions are ripe for causing a car crash. Drivers have to react quickly to changes in road conditions and avoid hazards in a safe way or they may hit another vehicle. If a construction crew has been negligent in keeping hazards marked or debris out of the road, and those conditions cause a car accident in which you get hurt, you may be able to seek financial compensation for your injuries.
Many road construction crews set up work at a point in the road that decreases driver visibility significantly. The construction may take place near curves in the road, behind large trees, or at places where traffic is very congested at certain points of the day. With equipment, heavy machinery, workers, and warning signs placed in these locations, visibility will decrease. This quickly increases the potential for serious car crashes near the construction site.
Changed Traffic Patterns
Most drivers take the same routes to and from work, school, or the store every day and know how traffic flows. Throw in new construction zones and those traffic patterns will change. There may be a reduction in lanes, lanes that shift, narrowing of lanes, and/or detours that can be confusing and frustrating to drivers. If the lanes are narrowed and a driver isn’t paying attention, they may cause scraping on the sides of their car and the vehicle in the next lane. If a driver is used to going straight in a lane that ends abruptly in a construction zone, they may run right into traffic barriers or construction equipment. Collisions can happen quickly on roads that have new traffic patterns. Proper warning signs should be present in these areas to notify drivers of the changes.
Speed Limit Changes
Speed limits in Texas already change depending on where you are driving. Add in construction zones and those speed limits can fluctuate even more. One moment you are driving 65 mph on your normal daily commute, and the next minute the speed limit drops to 45 mph with barely any warning as you enter a construction zone. If you’re not careful, you may drive too fast for the road conditions and end up in a car accident. Paying attention to the road signs as well as to the drivers around you is essential when driving near a construction zone. There are also increased penalties if you are caught speeding through a construction zone. Driving the speed limit and staying aware will help prevent motor vehicle accidents.
Dangerous Construction Equipment and Vehicles
Road construction often requires the use of heavy machinery, large trucks, and other vehicles to build new roads or repair the currently used stretches of highway. Many of these vehicles drive very slowly, make sudden stops, and take a very long time to maneuver into position to be used. This can cause delays, random stops, detours, and more. If a driver is not being careful or paying attention to the machinery and vehicles around them in a construction zone, they may not be able to avoid a collision with a work truck or other industrial vehicle.
All motor vehicle collisions can cause significant damage to your car, serious injuries, and even death. When driving through a construction zone, is it essential to pay attention to your surroundings and heed all necessary warnings signs. As with many other types of car crashes, distracted driving will increase the change of a car accident in a construction zone. Amarillo road construction is not going anywhere anytime soon. Make sure to protect yourself and your family by driving carefully.
Texas Car Accident Attorneys
If you have been in a car accident, you should speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Our experienced legal team provides the highest quality representation for accident victims. We work hard for you and do our best to hold all liable parties accountable for the full extent of your damages. By contacting Lovell, Lovell, Isern & Farabough, LLP quickly after being injured in a car accident, we can preserve the evidence needed to take legal action against those who hurt you. Contact us today to discuss your case at no cost.