California Construction Site Car Crashes
Dealing With Construction Site Car Accidents
Construction on the roadways and highways is necessary to keep providing drivers with safer road conditions that can help prevent future accidents. However, while they are being conducted, they can cause obstruction to the flow of traffic that can lead to car accidents. Below, our expert team of car accident injury attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers break down construction site car accidents and what to do about them.
Causes of Construction Site Car Accidents
Traffic jams and slow downs tend to occur when vehicles drive around construction sites since California construction zone speed limits are set in place. Besides this reason, there are a number of others that might occur due to construction zones. Here are some of the main causes:
- Sudden slow downs can cause an accident, especially on the highway where vehicles are prone to accelerated speeds. When a construction site comes up and there is a sudden slow down, a driver caught off guard can rear-end another vehicle and can even cause a series of vehicles to rear-end each other, resulting in a multi-vehicle collision.
- Sudden lane merges may occur when there is construction on the road that involves the need to block off some lanes. This can happen rather abruptly and is another cause for slow downs. If a driver is unaware of a sudden lane merge that could drive into the construction site or dangerously attempt to swerve into a lane, it may result in a car accident.
- Improper signage or lack of signage plays a huge role in the cause of car accidents at a construction site. Having signs up to let drivers know that there is construction work ahead can help them anticipate their next move and regulate their speed to accommodate for the construction site safety speed limits. If drivers are not aware of construction work up ahead, they will continue with the regular speed at which they are used to and come to a sudden slow down or stop that can cause an accident to occur.
- Poor lighting or low visibility can cause a construction site car accident, especially at night. If a driver is unable to see the construction site or workers up ahead, then they are at a high risk of getting involved in a collision. This is primarily why construction workers wear bright colors along with placing traffic signs and cones on the road to prevent drivers from crashing into them.
- Missing cones or barriers may cause construction site car accidents to occur, as well. Without these barriers, which disallows vehicles or gives them a notice of entry to the construction site, cars may unknowingly enter a construction site and get into an accident.
Who’s At-Fault for Construction Zone Car Accidents?
California is a fault state which means that someone must be held liable for causing an accident. California is also a comparative fault state, meaning that more than one party can be found liable for contributing to the collision. However, what determines fault is the negligence that each party partook in that resulted in the crash.
A construction zone workers’ or company’s negligence that can cause an accident include:
- not providing the proper signage;
- having low visibility;
- lack of barrier tools, such as cones.
A driver’s negligence that can cause an accident include failing to:
- Slow their speed at a construction site
- Merge lanes to avoid a construction site
- Come to a full stop upon coming to a traffic jam
Tips to Avoid Construction Site Car Accidents
While accidents are bound to happen, there are preventative and cautionary measures that can be taken by drivers to avoid accidents upon coming to a construction site while on the road. Here are some tips to avoid construction site car accidents:
- Drivers must put their focus on the road and pay attention to any construction sites up ahead. If you do end up seeing a sign indicating that there is road construction nearby, then you should start slowing down. You should also do this if other vehicles ahead of you are seen making a slow stop or merging to another lane.
- Do not attempt to overtake or pass a vehicle that is yielding or making a stop at a construction site. If you are trying to cut off a vehicle, especially on a two way high-way, you may get yourself into a head-on collision. Failure to slow down or make a full stop could also contribute to a rear-ended collision.
- Always communicate with other drivers to let them know about any upcoming traffic jams. A vehicle’s tail lights may also be used to signal emergency flashers to notify drivers nearby of potential road construction or hazard ahead. A driver may also use their blinkers to give others a heads up that they are attempting to merge onto another lane. If your tail lights do not work, be sure to use your hand signals to communicate with the traffic behind you. Here are the three main hand signals that you should use if your vehicle’s tail lights are not working properly:
- To turn or merge left, you must have your left arm straightened out.
- To signal a stop, you must have your left arm bent downwards at the elbow, which creates a 90 degree angle.
- To turn or merge right, you must have your left arm bent upwards at the elbow, which also creates a 90 degree angle. An alternative would be to extend your right arm and have your hand remaining flat.
Need a Car Accident Attorney? West Coast Trial Lawyers Can Help
If you were involved in a car accident and would like to seek compensation for injuries and damages, our experienced team of car accident attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers can help. Call us today at (213) 927-3700 or email [email protected] to schedule a free consultation with our knowledgeable, caring, and compassionate personal injury legal team.