Common Causes of Work Zone Accidents

Hundreds of work zone accidents occur every year in the United States. In Missouri alone, approximately 15 people are killed, and dozens more are severely injured in Missouri interstate and highway accidents, with more than half of these accidents occurring in designated work zones.

There are many different things that could cause a work zone accident, but the primary cause of work zone accidents in Missouri are negligent passenger vehicle drivers.

Causes of Work Zone Fatalities

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, between 2016 and 2017, fatal work zone accidents in the U.S. increased by nearly 3-percent, which is an average of 19 additional yearly fatalities. Passenger vehicle work zone accidents are the most common, but commercial-vehicle involved work zone accidents are a close second, followed by pedestrian accidents.

The most common factors involved in work zone accidents in Missouri include:

  • Speeding: This occurs when drivers exceed the posted speed limit or when weather conditions require slower speeds.
  • Bad weather: This can result in rear-end collisions because a vehicle at a stop sign is not visible due to fog or snow.
  • Distracted driving: Distracted drivers may be on a cell phone and not react quickly enough to avert an accident.
  • Intoxication: Motorists who aren’t aware that they are speeding or weaving on the road cause many auto accidents.
  • Pedestrian or driver fatigue. An exhausted pedestrian might not look on both sides of the road before crossing or a fatigued driver may fall asleep at the wheel lulled by the motion of the car.

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Because a construction zone accident can cause fatalities, there are severe penalties for causing a road construction accident in Missouri, which range from hefty fines and fees to license suspension and jail time in severe situations. However, a recent Missouri work zone law permanently suspends a drivers’ license if found at-fault in a work zone accident and comes with a $10,000 fine.

What Is the Number One Cause of Injury and Death in Work Zones?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the five leading causes of work deaths are the following work-related injuries:

  • 31.4% from overexertion and bodily reaction
  • 26.7% from falls, slips, and trips
  • 26.2% from contact with objects or equipment
  • 5.6% from transportation incidents
  • 4.9% from violence and other injuries by persons or animals

Additionally, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that fatal work zone crashes are due to changes in traffic patterns because of road construction activity. For instance, narrowing the right-of-way can cause drivers to get confused and cause accidents.

Work Zone Awareness Tips

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) offers FHWA work zone training to improve work zone protection. Their top tips for driving safely around a work zone include knowing about construction activity before you go, wearing your seatbelt, expecting the unexpected, and avoiding distracted driving.

The FHWA also suggests that drivers start paying attention to the driving behavior of other motorists, obeying the signs posted by work crews, not driving dangerously by speeding or tailgating, and staying calm and exercising patience as they drive through a work zone.

Work zone accidents can be devastating if they involve large trucks. What percentage of work zone related accidents involve large trucks? According to an FHWA report on Trucking Safely Through Work Zones: “Almost 30 percent of all work zone crashes involve large trucks.”

Missouri Work Zone Safety Law

Negligent work zone awareness in Missouri resulted in the death of 64 people between 2015 and 2019. Many work zone crashes can be avoided by noticing warning signs around highway work zones.

For instance, drivers should read and obey posted speed limits and pay attention to construction workers flagging the flow of traffic.

Tips for Protecting Your Rights After a Work Zone Accident

If you’re a motorist who has a work zone accident, you should seek relevant legal advice from accident attorneys about your case without delay. And if you’re a road construction worker injured in a work zone accident, you may also need to talk to attorneys to receive the money you deserve under Missouri’s workers’ compensation laws.

Who Is Responsible for a Work Zone Accident?

Work zone projects are necessary because poor road conditions cause accidents. Unfortunately, these projects can also be hazardous in themselves. For this reason, National Work Zone Awareness Week 2020, which was scheduled on April 20 to 24th focused on the theme, “Safe Work Zones for All: Protect workers. Protect road users.”

The event, coordinated and sponsored by The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) work safety officials, was designed to raise awareness that creating safe work zones around road construction sites is everybody’s responsibility because road construction negligence causes serious injuries and fatalities.

In a work zone, the construction company needs to organize clearly visible flaggers, signs, and signals about construction activity while motor vehicle drivers, motorcyclists, bikers, and pedestrians need to obey traffic laws and pay attention to what is happening on the road. Road construction accidents arise from negligence, from people failing to take responsibility for their role in working at or driving, riding, or walking through a work zone.

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Missouri Work Zone Accident Settlements

Work zone accidents affect everyone and can cause victims and their families to struggle with unexpected medical expenses, pain and suffering, and loss of income during such a difficult time. If you suffered harm in a work zone accident in Missouri, or someone you love was killed on the job in a work zone accident, you could be entitled to a Missouri work zone injury settlement.

After a work zone accident, to increase the odds of recovering the maximum amount of damages, it’s essential to get examined by a doctor, call 911 immediately, and discuss your situation with a St. Louis work zone accident lawyer. The other party’s insurance company could attempt to take advantage of your vulnerability during the aftermath of an accident and get an incriminating statement or shift blame in the accident to offer you a reduced injury settlement.

Having an experienced St. Louis personal injury attorney by your side offers protection from the other party’s insurer, ensures that you have a strong claim against the negligent party, and increases the odds of recovering full compensation for your injuries caused in a Missouri work zone accident.

How Long Do You Have to File a Missouri Work Zone Accident Claim?

After a vehicle accident, you must report it within 30 days in writing to the director of revenue of the State of Missouri. Worker’s compensation claims typically need to be filed within two years of the date of the accident.

How a Lawyer Can Help With a Work Zone Accident Claim

If you or a loved one have suffered serious injuries in a construction zone as a motorist, motorcyclist, bicyclist, pedestrian, or construction worker because of car accidents due to construction, then you need to find a law firm whose injury lawyers can review your claim and provide legal counsel.

An injury lawyer can help you if you claim that a “construction sign hit my car” or your contention that a pothole caused the accident. He or she will also answer any questions you might have, such as “Can you sue a city for bad roads?” or “Can you sue the city for icy roads?”

St. Louis Work Zone Accident Lawyers

If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a work zone accident in Missouri, it’s important to stay calm, collect evidence, and consult an experienced attorney about the situation. It can be challenging to determine your right to compensation after an accident, but with an experienced attorney on your side, the odds of recovering a Missouri work zone accident settlement significantly increase.

If you are ready to file a work zone injury claim in Missouri and need help determining if you are eligible to receive disability or who you should sue for damages, call (314) 409-7060, 855-40-CRASH (toll-free), or contact the Dixon Injury Firm now for a free case review and consultation.

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Call or email the Personal Injury Attorneys at Dixon Injury Firm today to schedule your free injury claim consultation with Chris. Our experienced lawyers make the difference.

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