Highway construction zones are full of hazards that can result in an accident. Many states are requiring these zones be active at night, in order to avoid aggravating traffic at peak hours. Instinctively, it would seem that work zones would be even more dangerous at night, but a study conducted by the Texas A&M Traffic Institute reveals that work zone accidents are no more likely at night than during the day.
The practice of keeping highway construction zones open at night has become much more common in the past 10 years as roads have become more crowded. Nighttime work is more challenging for contractors, who have to keep supplies and employees available during off-peak hours and provide adequate light sources. It has become standard practice; however, to include nighttime operating hours in contracts for construction on stretches of road that see more than 50,000 cars per day.
Nighttime construction is advantageous in that it prevents additional delays during peak traffic hours. While driving in the dark is more hazardous than driving during daylight, the lessened traffic during overnight construction hours helps to alleviate some of the risk of construction work zone accidents. The Texas A&M study examined data from 64 construction crash sites across four states. Researchers revealed a minimal difference in the number of accidents at night versus during the day, 66% and 61% respectively. There was no difference in the severity of daytime and nighttime accidents, and the incidence of rear-end crashes was actually lower at night.
The U.S. Department of Transportation has specific guidelines for construction zone signage to ensure that traffic can proceed as safely as possible. Advisory signs should begin a mile in advance of the construction sites, with at least two closer to the site, to notify drivers of upcoming road work. Illuminated signs, such as flashing arrows and digital speed limit signs, must be visible at least a mile away from the work zone. States risk losing federal funding if these standards are not met.
According to the Federal Highway Administration, approximately two percent of fatal car accidents occur in construction zones each year. When traveling through a construction zone, all drivers must use extraordinary caution, including following all posted traffic signs, to avoid fatal crashes involving other drivers or construction workers at these sites. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a construction zone car accident, an experienced construction lawyer can help determine who is at fault and hold them accountable for their negligence.
Philadelphia construction accident lawyers at Galfand Berger have the knowledge and experience to get you the compensation you deserve following a construction zone accident. We will thoroughly review the facts of your case and prepare an aggressive legal strategy to hold those responsible for your injuries accountable. With offices conveniently located in Center City, Philadelphia, we help accident victims throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Call us today at 1-800-222-USWA (8792) or contact us online for a free consultation with a qualified construction accident lawyer.