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Construction zones and car accidents

As a motorist, you must navigate a variety of hazards on the road. Even the most routine commute can include encounters with large trucks, visibility-reducing precipitation and careless/aggressive fellow-drivers.

Construction zones on or near the road can add to the list of potential crash risks. Based on this, the New York State Department of Transportation offers some safety tips for drivers.

Drive safely near a work zone

One major component of safe driving around construction zones is staying alert and paying close attention to signage. You may see signs indicating construction ahead, slow traffic, a closed lane or a flagger ahead. Act according to the signs as soon as you see them. Likewise, be sure to follow the flagger's signals.

Impatience and lack of attention tend to be some of the most common causes of accidents in work zones. Drivers do not notice other traffic slowing down in front of them, resulting in rear-end collisions. The same can happen when a driver becomes frustrated at the slow traffic or marked detours. 

Crashes can happen due to failure to follow rules

Disobeying traffic rules, including work zone flaggers and signage, can constitute negligence. If you sustain injuries in an accident stemming from another driver's failure to follow construction zone signs, you may be able to recover damages through filing a lawsuit.

Other common causes of work zone accidents

Sometimes, drivers can experience a crash in a construction zone for reasons other than another motorist's negligence. Common scenarios include incorrect or poorly visible signage, the improper placing of signage that does not give drivers the chance to avoid the hazard, objects left in the road or falling objects from the site. In such a situation, one may need to dig deep to figure out the legally responsible party or parties.

When the defendant is a government entity

With the involvement of roadwork, a variety of government entities could bear responsibility, including city, county or state authorities. It is especially important to ascertain the facts quickly, as the deadlines for filing suit against a government entity tend to be shorter than the normal statute of limitations for personal injury actions. In many cases, additional procedural requirements exist.

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