Construction Zone Auto Accidents

Highways, expressways and major traffic areas are often undergoing construction, especially in the warmer months. Some states have roads constantly being repaired while other states have reparations only occasionally. Due to erections in the road, truck traffic, construction cones and other machinery or decaying ground, the roadways are much more dangerous than other areas. This causes construction zones to be associated with a higher number of accidents.

Causes of Construction Zone Accidents

A reduction of lanes may lead to slower traffic or collision for those that do not notice the change or do not properly adapt to it. Narrowing of lanes may cause scraping on the sides of vehicles when a driver is not paying attention to these external factors. Detours may cause drivers to get confused or frustrated, leading to collisions. Obstacles on the roadways may cause accidents for the incautious. As is common with many other types of automotive accidents, distracted driving is sometimes to blame for construction zone accidents. Additionally, drivers may be exceeding the adjusted speed limit for the construction zone, leading to an accident. Keeping a proper lookout for dangers can sometimes help avoid these common accidents.

Statistical Data

Accidents and collisions often occur with greater frequency due to the additional hazards that construction zones provide. There are thousands of crashes and collisions each year due to work zone construction. Since 2011, over 4,000 traffic incidences were reported due to construction areas. Over 1,500 people have been injured since that time and at least 20 people have died due to these accidents. The numbers increase greatly when larger zones are being repaired, and big cities often increase these statistics exponentially during bad weather conditions.

Safety Programs

Some states have programs to increase safety. Illinois has the Embrace the Orange campaign through the Illinois Department of Transportation. It seeks to educate vehicle operators about dangers of driving without caution around construction work areas. Drivers are asked to do their part in safeguarding safety to make a zero fatality program a reality. The appropriate level of care is expected of drivers. Failure to follow proper safety protocols may lead to liability for injuries and death caused through the negligence of safer driving. Fines may be the result of driving speeds exceeding proper guidelines, distracted driving and other such practices. Other states advocate similar programs or policies. Many states increase the amount of the fine and other consequences when a driver is cited for moving violations in a construction area. Some states use billboards to provide information and assistance in staying safe.


Individuals who are injured due to another driver not using proper precaution may decide to seek damages against the negligent party. Medical expenses are often the biggest expense covered by those responsible for injury. Lost income, property damage, loss of limb or disfigurement and the cause of disability in others are all potential financial payouts required by those liable. Pain and suffering may also be covered with these other damages. If the accident results in a fatality, the victim’s family may pursue damages such as loss of support and loss of companionship from the liable party.

In some cases, construction zone accidents involve cases in which the government or a construction company bears liability. This type of case may arise if there are inadequate warning signs to sufficiently alert drivers of the impending dangers. Because they are responsible for the roadways and repairs, the government may be held liable for monetary damages in personal injury claims.

Similarly, if an accident occurs as a result of inadequate warning signs or unmarked road hazards, the construction company responsible for the roadway could be held liable for money damages in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.

Worker Accidents

Some accidents cause injury to construction workers and not motorists. These claims allow workers to file for workers’ compensation benefits when their employer is insured. The employer provides information, and the victim initiates a claim. They may also be entitled to compensation to damages through a personal injury claim with a third party in some cases. These are usually due to a driver causing an accident or injury to workers on the construction zones.

Road Construction Safety Tips

Safety is vital when construction zones are present, and it is the responsibility of each driver to reinforce this and provide a safe trip for everyone involved. To decrease risks of accidents, drivers should be observant of specific road construction sites. It is important to slow down while in a construction zone. Posted speed limits should be followed. Weather conditions should be taken into account, and proper safety guidelines should be adhered to. There should be enough space between vehicles so slowing down does not cause a collision. Distractions should be avoided. Merging should be a swift process, and lane changes that are not necessary should be avoided.

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Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication at the time it was written. It is not intended to provide legal advice or suggest a guaranteed outcome as individual situations will differ and the law may have changed since publication. Readers considering legal action should consult with an experienced lawyer to understand current laws they may affect a case.

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