Work Zone Accidents

Every state across the country imposes stiff penalties on drivers who operate unsafely around work zones near the roadway. Unfortunately, accidents in these areas still occur. In some cases, liability for these incidents falls to the driver involved. However, there are also times when the construction company or even a state government agency could be responsible for a work zone crash. Here, we want to discuss the most common causes of work zone accidents in Oregon.

Work Zone Accident Injuries and Fatalities

According to information available from the Federal Highway Administration, we can see that there were a significant number of work zone fatalities across the US during the latest reporting year. This includes 842 fatalities for those in vehicles involved in work zone crashes.

The FHA also breaks down the main types of roads where works on crashes occur. Overall, most work zone crashes occur on arterial roadways leading from highways to less major roadways. Aside from arterial roadways, interstates are the second most dangerous type of road where work zone crashes occur.

Unfortunately, work zone crashes often result in severe injuries for those involved. For those who do survive it work zone crash, it is not uncommon for them to sustain the following:

  • Broken or dislocated bones
  • Severe lacerations
  • Amputations or crush injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Concussions
  • Spinal cord injuries with paralysis
  • Whiplash
  • Other severe back or neck injury
  • Internal organ damage
  • Significant scarring or disfigurement

Common Causes of Work Zone Accidents

Work zone crashes can occur in a wide variety of ways. In some cases, these incidents are caused by the careless or negligent actions of other drivers on the roadway. Anytime another driver disregards work zone safety, this can lead to significant injuries for others involved, including other drivers and passengers as well as workers in the work zone. Some of the main types of driver mistakes that lead to work zone crashes include:

  • Distracted driving. This includes using handheld devices, eating, reaching for items in the vehicle, multitasking, programming radios or navigation, etc.
  • Impaired driving. Any type of drug or alcohol-impaired driving is dangerous on the roadway, particularly in work zone areas.
  • Speeding. Exceeding the posted speed limit or failing to acknowledge construction zone signs is incredibly dangerous, and these are areas where the speed limit often fluctuates.

In addition to these driver-related causes of construction zone accidents, liability for these incidents could also fall to the construction companies or government agencies responsible for the work zone. Some of the main ways that companies or government entities could be responsible for work zone accidents include:

  • Inadequate warning signs. All drivers need to know when they are coming up on work zones so they can adjust their driving appropriately.
  • No speed limit notices. The speed limit is inevitably going to change around work zones, and drivers need to know about these changes well in advance of the zone.
  • Roadway changes. There may be significant road changes in or around work zones, including detours, cones and barrels, lane closures, and more.
  • Equipment. In some cases, heavy equipment can be located too close to flowing traffic, which can lead to deadly rear-end or head-on collisions.

If you or somebody you care about has sustained an injury as a result of a work zone collision, contact an attorney as soon as possible. A skilled Portland personal injury lawyer can get involved and fully investigate your claim to determine liability. You deserve to be compensated if a work zone crash was caused by the careless or negligent actions of someone else.