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Accidents Prevalent in Work Zones

Posted on February 19, 2017

Work zones can be dangerous — and not just for workers. In 2015, more than 1,300 car accidents took place in work zones, according to the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office. Tulsa County alone saw 352 work zone crashes.

There are several reasons that work zone accidents happen so frequently, chief among them disregarding traffic signs, signals, and other directions. For example, a driver recently went the wrong way in a construction zone near 86th Street and South Sheridan in Tulsa and caused an accident. Emergency personnel believes that the driver was confused about the traffic signs.

Keep in mind that work zones aren’t limited to construction. Work zones also include temporary maintenance and accident scenes. Anything that is blocked off by orange cones, flashing lights or signs might be a work zone.

What Else Causes Work Zone Accidents?

Other factors in work zone accidents include:

  • Exceeding the speed limit. There’s a reason that the speed limit is slower in construction zones. Worker safety is a priority, as is driver safety. There’s a lot of stop-and-go in construction zones, which is why drivers need to slow down and proceed with caution. The penalty for speeding in a construction zone is double the normal rate. And while there might not be a lower speed limit posted in temporary maintenance zones or at the scene of an accident, drivers should be proceeding with caution.
  • Improper merges. There are often lane closures in work zones, and drivers waiting until the last second to merge (or drivers who speed up to get around other cars before merging) can cause accidents. Other than merging when a lane closes, drivers should not change lanes in a work zone.
  • Distracted driving. There are signs posted in work zones warning about impending lane closures, blocked lanes, and the lower speed limit, and if a driver isn’t paying attention he might miss this vital information.
  • Forgetting to turn on headlights. It’s important that drivers are visible to workers and to other drivers.

Championing Work Zone Safety

Oklahoma launched a work zone safety awareness campaign in April 2016. For more information visit the Oklahoma Department of Transportation’s website.

Contact Our Office for Help

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident caused by a person driving unsafely in a construction zone, contact the law office of Charles Bryan Alred, P.C., today. We are prepared to help you recover compensation for your injuries.