Car accidents in construction zones can result in significant injuries for motorists and pedestrians, such as broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, and spinal injuries. Some of those injuries can be permanent and even fatal. While you might be unable to prevent all accidents in construction zones that lead to life-changing injuries, the following actions might make a difference.
Providing Plenty of Warning
Lawyers specializing in construction zone accidents often find that accidents can sometimes happen when construction experts don’t provide enough signage to warn motorists of upcoming road changes and hazards.
Construction teams might be able to prevent accidents and resultant injuries by ensuring adequate warning signs leading up to those road changes. It’s also important to ensure that signs and barricades aren’t too close to moving lanes, as they can be obstacles for motorists that lead to unnecessary collisions and injuries.
Lowering Speed Limits
Most construction companies already set speed limits to keep employees and motorists safe. After all, if there’s loose debris and people working around a busy road, there can be many dangers to mitigate.
However, current rules suggest a work zone speed limit of 10 miles per hour below the regular speed limit. If government officials were to lower that speed limit even further, there might be a reduced risk of accidents with people experiencing severe injuries.
Enforcing Reduced Speed Limits
While construction companies can put reduced speed limit signs in place, that doesn’t mean all drivers will abide by them. They might not see the point in slowing down their speed if the road surface looks fine and workers are a safe distance away from the road.
However, enforcement might prevent injuries in construction zones. If the authorities were to use radar guns to catch speeding drivers, there might be a reduced risk of severe injuries from speed-related accidents.
Making Construction Zone Design Changes
Car accident injuries like spinal injuries and brain damage can be life-changing, but some such injuries might be avoided if construction companies made construction zone design changes.
Rather than making sudden changes that cause drivers to undertake dangerous maneuvers, they could start guiding drivers into new road adjustments before reaching a construction zone with even more obstacles. Receiving input from multiple people before designing a construction zone might also ensure they are safer and more effective for both workers and motorists.
Promoting Work Zone Awareness
Government officials have already identified a problem with accidents in work zones. To try to combat it, they established an annual spring campaign called National Work Zone Awareness Week, which typically runs for seven days in April each year.
This campaign commences at the start of the construction season to encourage safe travel through highway work sites. The goal is to see drivers use extra caution and know where to expect work zones.
While The American Traffic Safety Services already promotes this awareness week with unique themes, posters, and advertising campaigns, they might be able to promote it further in a number of ways. Running it for longer periods, having campaign materials at construction sites, and using social media and TV ads to reach more people might all be effective avenues to explore.
Some drivers get nervous when approaching construction zones. There can be multiple signs in place guiding drivers on a new road layout while changes are being made, and not all are overly clear to the average driver.
If you’re a construction company worker and notice that drivers are frequently not following the rules, consider whether a lack of clear signage is to blame. A few changes might result in a much safer passage during the construction project.
Accidents will happen at all times of the day and night, and more people end up in fatal accidents at night than during the day. However, nighttime construction work might reduce the number of construction-zone-related injuries. If roads are maintained and repaired when most people are at home and sleeping, there might be fewer opportunities for construction workers and motorists to be put at risk.
However, some tasks must be carried out during the day due to temperature, the type of work, safety, and scheduling. For example, bridge-forming and abutments can’t be completed at night due to the requirement for adequate lighting.
There’s no way to prevent all accidents and resulting injuries in construction zones. However, a few small changes to how such sites are operated might result in fewer collisions and life-changing injuries for those involved.