Truck accidents are a growing problem on American roadways, but some situations carry an increased risk of a truck-related collision. Driving through the tight spaces, twists and turns of a construction zone is dangerous for any driver, but when large commercial vehicles enter narrow work zones, the possibility for trouble and the danger to those nearby increases.
Characteristics of Work Zone Accidents
Highway work zones often involve reduced maneuvering and driving space. Lane closures are another potential complication, especially when construction vehicles and equipment are present.
Many motor vehicle accidents that occur in these areas share some common characteristics. According the Federal Highway Administration, 60 percent of construction zone crashes occur during the daytime, and about 31 percent involve speeding. Rear-end collisions are the most common type of accidents in a work zone.
Factors Contributing to Construction Zone Accidents
State and federal regulations dictate how work zones are to be managed; however, contractors and road construction crews do not always follow these rules stringently. Unsafe work zone designs, improperly placed warning signs or work crews’ negligence in storing construction equipment all contribute to many truck accidents.
Other factors include unsafe driving practices and equipment failure. Truck drivers are on tight schedules and may be fatigued from long hours, which can make driving through a work zone more dangerous. Other incidents involve tractor-trailer decoupling or other equipment failure. Jackknife and rollover accidents are common in construction zones, and especially deadly.
Liability for Construction Zones Accidents
In determining responsibility for a work zone truck collision, most people’s first inclination is to look at the driver. While the truck driver may have some liability, this type of accident may also involve other responsible parties. With some truck accidents, the county contractor or road construction crew may be held responsible. The trucking company can also be named liable in a truck accident because collisions are considered to occur within the scope of employment. Legal claims can be filed against all responsible parties, to help recover damages for injuries or wrongful deaths that may occur as a result.
Assigning liability for truck collisions in construction zones is a complicated matter and requires the assistance of an experienced attorney. The professionals at Montgomery Dowdle Law Offices in Boise, Idaho, are skilled at handling the legalities of truck accidents, as well as a variety of other personal injury and accident matters. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation if you or a loved one has been involved in a car or truck accident.