No matter what time of year it is, it seems that there is always some kind of major road construction going on somewhere in the state of North Carolina. Although road construction can be a frustration because of the way it slows down traffic and adds time to your commute, road construction can also lead to serious – sometimes fatal – vehicle accidents.
All highway and road construction is regulated by federal and/or state government and there are regulations and guidelines that are in place to help ensure the safety of all commuters and pedestrians. However, it is all too common for workers and contractors to take shortcuts to get around those regulations or ignore them entirely. If a victim is injured or killed in a road construction crash, they or their family may be entitled to financial compensation from the party or parties whose negligence caused the crash.
When Regulations Are Ignored
Road construction sites are required to have certain color warning signs, as well as rules as to where those signs are required to be placed. Merge and turning angles and redirected lanes also fall under these regulations. Despite all the rules and regulations, there are still almost 100,000 work zone road accidents each year. While many of these accidents are caused by driver negligence, far too many more are happening because of the negligence of the construction company overseeing the work zone. Some of the common types of negligence by road work zone workers include:
- Driving vehicles out from construction areas into oncoming traffic;
- Failing to adequately repair or properly construct a road so that it is safe for drivers to use;
- Leaving machinery, supplies, or tools in the path of traffic;
- Not posting adequate signs to warn drivers that they are approaching a road work zone, there are lane closures, traffic may be congested, or other potential obstacles;
- Not properly directing traffic when necessary in the work zone area;
- Objects falling onto the roadway from bulldozers, cranes, or other large machines; and
- Workers standing in the roadway or walking out into the road.
Road construction zone accidents can be complex ones and this is why it is critical for accident victims to consult with a professional North Carolina car accident attorney. When the cause of the accident could have happened because of the actions or inactions of construction contractors, supervisors, foremen, or workers, a skilled accident attorney has the extensive legal knowledge and experience to know which regulation was broken and how that party is liable for the accident.