Summer Is the Time for Road Work, and for Resulting Accidents

Road work is part of the landscape during the summer driving season. Major repairs and upgrades to public roadways need to be made during favorable weather conditions. Though maintenance is essential to keep roads in safe condition, the road work itself can be a contributing factor in an auto accident.

Drivers need to be on the alert for the following safety issues that are inherently associated with road work:

  • Increased congestion — Lane closures and shifting traffic patterns cause traffic slowdowns. Increased traffic density makes collisions more likely.
  • Road surfaces — Uneven or broken pavement in work zones can compromise a vehicle’s handling and braking, thereby increasing the chances of an accident.
  • Barriers — Temporary barriers can obstruct traffic and can impede road drainage during heavy rains. Pooled or flowing water can cause slippery conditions. Also, when a car hits a lightweight barrier such as a traffic cone or barrel, the object may land in a travel lane, creating another hazard.
  • Road debris — Occasionally, construction equipment or debris can end up in an active travel lane. A chunk of asphalt or steel reinforcement rod can easily puncture a tire, which may cause the driver to lose control.
  • Lighting — The glare from high-powered construction lights for night road work can temporarily blind or disorient motorists traveling in either direction.
  • Detours — Re-routing of the normal flow of traffic during construction can leave drivers confused. Some may drive erratically through the construction zone. On occasion someone will mistakenly drive into a part of the road that is closed off.
  • Construction equipment — Cars in traffic lanes may collide with slow-moving construction vehicles entering or leaving the work zone. Also, heavy equipment might be pulled into a travel lane to be re-positioned on the worksite, leaving it temporarily exposed to oncoming traffic.
  • Road rage — Delays caused by road construction can frustrate drivers, and this sometimes leads to irrational anger. Motorists yelling at each other or engaging in aggressive driving can put everyone in the vicinity at risk.

Poor driving also causes auto accidents in construction zones. Some drivers are oblivious to signs warning of upcoming construction. They may proceed in travel lanes that are about to be closed off and then cut over in front of other traffic at the last moment. Far too many people fail to slow down, which not only increases the chances of a vehicle collision but also puts construction workers in serious peril. In addition, unsafe drivers are a hazard to police and to other first responders at an accident scene.

Seigel Law in Ridgewood is one of the most experienced automobile accident law firms in the North Jersey/ Metropolitan New York City area. Call 201-444-4000 or contact us online for a free initial consultation.

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