Why Is It So Dangerous to Speed in A Work Zone?
A variety of dangers are presented in work zones to both construction workers and motorists. A large number of serious injuries and fatalities occur each year because of increased dangers and distractions in work zones across the country.
Speeding in a work zone is illegal and amounts to negligence. You should consult with a qualified West Virginia work zone accident attorney if you or someone you love was injured by a speeding motorist in a work zone.
Work Zone Crash Trends
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) reports that work zone crashes increased by 42% between 2013 and 2015 across the country. Speeding was found to be a factor in 172 fatal crashes in the year 2014.
Other distinct causes were lack of seatbelt use and alcohol impairment. 41% of crashes in 2013 related to work zone accidents were rear-end collisions. This further demonstrates the need for drivers to reduce speed while traveling in construction zones.
Traffic jams are common in construction work zones. Speeding drivers run the risk of hitting a stopped vehicle. As per DOT data, 1,273 people get injured on average in a year because of work zone crashes. The majority of these crashes occur on interstate and state highways.
Speeding Reduces Reaction Time and Ability to Stop
Drivers are required to pay close attention to the road when passing through a work site. They need to quickly react to changing traffic behaviors. The increased likelihood of a queue means that drivers have to be prepared for stopping suddenly in case the car ahead of them brakes hard.
The reaction time and ability of a driver to suddenly stop depends on:
- Weather conditions
- Driver’s alertness
- Road condition
- Braking components in the car
- Speed of the car
Speeding reduces the distance available to the driver to make a complete stop. This reduces the driver’s ability to brake for avoiding accidents. You will require four times the braking distance when you double your speed – say from 20 mph to 40 mph. This will also give you less time to react to a situation.
Conversely, reducing the car speed to 45 mph from 65 mph in a two-mile construction zone gives you a 40-meter braking distance advantage. And it only causes a slight delay of roughly a minute.
This is something that won’t be noticed by most commuters. The statistics on fatal driving speeds and rear-end crashes solidify why speeding in work zones is dangerous.
Rear-end crashes occur when a vehicle is unable to stop in time and hits the car in front of it. This is the most common type of accident in work zones. Fatal car crashes generally occur in work zones with a speed limit of 50 mph and more.
Distracted Driving is a Problem
The distance taken by a vehicle to arrive at a complete stop is affected by small changes in reaction time. This is particularly true when a vehicle is speeding.
For example, motorists doing 50 mph usually take 0.8 seconds to react and hit the brakes. They will travel 10 extra meters before stopping as compared to a motorist that can react in just 0.4 seconds.
Work zones are rife with distractions for drivers. There are numerous construction workers on the road and big machinery at play. This makes crashes more common in work zones.
Distracted driving and speeding only add to the problem. You may not have enough time to merge when the lane you are on ends. You may end up running off the road, which is a dangerous situation for you, other motorists, and construction workers.
Semi-trucks are a major cause for concern in work zones. They have greater braking distances as compared to passenger vehicles. This is because they are heavy and are usually carrying large loads.
You should always maintain a safe following distance from semi-trailers. You may want to consider paying extra attention to any changes in traffic conditions as well.
Personal Injury Attorneys Can Help
Drivers that fail to drive within reasonable speed limits and responsibly in work zones are believed to be acting negligently. The driver can be made responsible for your injuries and damages caused in case of an accident.
Pertaining to this, it’s recommended that you work with an experienced attorney to get fair compensation for the following among others:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
Your attorney will help you collect the necessary medical documents to prove financial compensation. They will obtain a copy of the police report and communicate with the insurance company on your behalf. The law firm will take care of the legal side of things while you focus on recovering from your injuries.
They will also have access to an accident reconstruction expert to assess the manner in which the incident took place. This can be useful in bolstering your claim.
Speak With an Experienced Car Accident Attorney in WV Today
The qualified legal team at Bailey, Javins & Carter, L.C. is committed to helping the victims of speeding accidents get the compensation they deserve. We will provide you with strong legal representation and stand by you every step of the way until you have received your rightful damages from the negligent parties.
To request your free, no-obligation consultation, call us at 800-497-0234 or complete this online form.