Construction zones can present serious risks for drivers and road workers alike. In the state of Texas, work zone accidents claimed the life of 140 people and caused at least 22,250 crashes. In almost all construction areas, reduced speed limits are posted to protect workers and reduce the likelihood of accidents. Debris in the roadway, heavy machinery and equipment and workers crossing lanes of traffic can present challenges for motorists in construction zones. In some cases, workers and motorists alike may be eligible to collect Houston auto accident settlements due to injuries or losses sustained in these work zones. Here are four factors to consider when navigating Texas road construction zones.
Know the Risks
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, rear-end collisions are the most common type of construction zone accident. These crashes generally occur due to the slowdown caused by lower speed limits and unexpected stops. Other common reasons for accidents in work zones include the following:
- Excessive speed that leads to loss of control, especially on curves or turns
- Narrow lanes that may present added difficulties for large trucks and wide vehicles
- Inattention or distraction on the part of drivers
- Merging errors that can cause fender-benders at low speed
- Equipment or workers in road areas
Staying alert and reducing your speed in construction areas is usually your best defense against involvement in these accidents.
Expect Added Penalties for Work Zone Violations
The state of Texas imposes larger financial penalties for traffic infractions in construction zones. Fines can double in work zone areas, creating an even greater incentive for drivers to slow down and be prepared to stop quickly when traveling through areas where construction activities are underway. This can also provide added protection against the stress and financial costs of automotive accidents, allowing you and your family to stay safer on Texas streets and highways.
Prepare for the Unexpected
Even if you travel through a construction zone every day, you should be alert for changes in the way traffic flows through these areas and for shifts in lane closures. As construction projects progress, the need to close specific lanes or to block areas with heavy equipment can also change. You can lower your risk of an accident by keeping a safe distance between your vehicle and other cars and trucks on the road and by staying alert to the changing conditions in work zones every day. Avoiding mobile phone use and other distractions can also help you to avoid accidents and to reach your destination safely when traveling in areas of roadwork in Texas.
Showing courtesy to other drivers by allowing them to merge into traffic and providing them with plenty of room in construction zones can reduce your risk of being involved in a road rage incident. Because of the high degree of traffic congestion associated with larger work zones, drivers may have to wait longer to reach their destinations. This can increase frustration that can sometimes lead to angry and even violent responses on the road. By taking extra care to drive courteously, you can stop these incidents before they begin and can protect yourself and your family in Houston construction zones.
If you or someone you love has been involved in a work zone accident, consulting with a qualified Houston auto injury attorney can provide added support throughout the legal process. Your Houston traffic accident lawyer can negotiate for you and your family with insurance companies and can represent you effectively in court, allowing you to enjoy the best possible outcomes after these traumatic events. By retaining the services of an experienced personal injury attorney, you can obtain fair compensation for injuries and financial losses caused by auto accidents in the Houston area.