The warmer weather comes with barbeques, pool parties, baseball games, and summer vacations. But the spring and summer are also filled with another trend that Texans enjoy far less--road construction. The past few years in particular have seen a surge in local capital projects, planting construction work zones throughout some of the busiest roadways in the state. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) explains that this is the time of year when it is easiest to work with construction materials that depend on temperature, such as concrete and asphalt. At any given time there may be over a thousand work zones throughout the state.
While these projects are critical to expanding travel options and improving safety, the actual construction process itself is a well-known driving hazard. TxDOT officials report that each year there are thousands of accidents and injuries. In fact, some years have seen more than a hundred deaths annually in construction zone accidents. Considering the risks, safety advocates urge Texas residents to act cautiously whenever driving in or near a construction zone. Data suggests that the most common cause of auto accidents and injuries in works zones is speeding drivers. This is why these areas should have very clearly posted lower speed limits. It is also why law enforcement officers often crack down on moving violations in construction zones, with ticket prices increased for the offense. In recent years, distracted driving has also played a role in construction zone accidents. According to TxDOT data, a shocking 70 percent of work zone fatalities were connected in some way to either drunk or distracted driving. Work Zone Accident Liability Auto accidents that strike in construction zones often include unique legal issues. That is because there is always the chance that third parties may be implicated in the accident in addition to the drivers involved. For example, signage placement may be confusing or incorrectly used, maintenance equipment could be used dangerously or left in the line of traffic, or construction cones or barriers can be moved accidentally, also leading to collisions and other accidents.
In construction accidents the affected drivers will be involved in possible litigation. In addition, however, those connected to construction crews or even state and local governmental bodies can be implicated in an accident. There are many legal nuances, and it is crucial to work with an experienced accident lawyer in the aftermath of one of these incidents.