Repairing, improving, and building roads and bridges are essential for the State of Georgia. However, this means a lot of construction projects in various stages of completion all around the state, which can mean a higher risk of work zone accidents.
Driving through a construction zone can be stressful or confusing for many reasons. There are unfamiliar lane changes or there may be a detour that leads drivers on an unfamiliar route. Merging into a construction zone may be challenging. There are signs, cones, large moving equipment, workers near the roadway – all demanding your attention, so you can navigate through safely. It is no wonder that work zone accidents are on the rise in Georgia, according to the Georgia Department of Transportation. What are the factors that contribute to this bothersome trend?
Being alert as you make your way through a work zone can reduce your chances of an accident. As you approach and drive through a work zone, avoid using cell phones and other electronic devices, wait to eat the food sitting next to you, or avoid changing the radio station. Remember, texting is banned for all drivers, work zone or not, in Georgia. There is a lot to pay attention to through a construction zone, including the drivers around you trying to navigate the same zone.
Many times, speed limits are reduced through work zones. It is the responsibility of every driver to know the speed limit through these areas of road work. The Georgia Department of Transportation states that drivers must, “Obey the posted speed limit, even when workers are not present. In 2016, there were 190 work zone fatal crashes where speeding was a factor.” On the flip side of driving too fast through a work zone, don’t slow down to gawk at road work. Keep up with the flow of traffic.
Driver impairment is when someone is mentally or physically weak or diminished. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a form of driver impairment and puts everyone on the road at risk for an accident, including work zone accidents. Driving while fatigued is another form of driver impairment.
When it comes to work zone accidents, the Georgia DOT states there were 20,834 total crashes in 2017, resulting in 7,276 injuries and 55 fatalities. This number can be reduced if drivers pay attention, reduce their speed, and watch for workers through work zones.
Have you or a loved one been injured in a Georgia work zone accident? You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Contact Randy E. Fry for a free consultation about your accident.