Construction zones are set in place to maintain and upgrade our highways and byways. Those daily changes in traffic patterns, detours, narrowed rights-of-way and other construction activities can be hazardous to both motorists and workers. Other dangerous factors drivers may encounter include uneven pavement, concrete barriers, slow-moving heavy equipment and other vehicles making sudden stops.
“Determining liability in a work zone accident is dependent on several factors. In the state of Texas, the government and its employees have immunity and are protected from many kinds of liability. That includes responsibility for car accidents, even in situations where a private entity or individual would be deemed at fault for the crash,” Brad Parker says.
The leading causes of work zone crashes in Texas, speeding and driver inattention, are entirely preventable. Follow these simple construction zone driving safety tips.
- Stay alert and avoid distractions such as your cellphone, eating, drinking, the radio, GPS and having conversations with other passengers.
- Keep your headlights on.
- Watch brake lights on vehicles ahead.
- Keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you. Don't tailgate.
- Obey the posted reduced speed limit.
- Merge into the proper lane safely.
- Follow instructions from flaggers.
- Expect the unexpected such as workers and work vehicles.
Everyone in the community is responsible for work zone safety. Engineers and planners must make sure the work zone is designed and operating properly and safely. Law enforcement and the court system have the responsibility to make sure that the traffic and work zone laws are enforced. Safety agencies have the responsibility of responding to and securing crash locations and enforcing traffic laws.
Brad says, “While drivers, cyclists and pedestrians should always be alert and obey the traffic laws, the local community and state government need to allocate funding for safer roads, proper signage and increased public awareness about construction zone safety.”
Move Over/Slow Down Law
In Texas, drivers are required by law to move over a lane or reduce their speed to 20 mph below the posted speed limit when they see flashing blue or amber lights on a TxDOT vehicle, emergency vehicle or tow truck stopped on the roadside or shoulder. Violation of this law can result in a fine of up to $2,000.
Take caution this summer as you are driving and be sure to follow all safety rules, especially in those work zones.
If you find yourself or a loved one the victim of a car or trucking accident, call our office today at 817.440.3888 to get a free case evaluation.
At Parker Law Firm, our experienced personal injury lawyers believe people matter. We are committed to our clients, not case numbers, and we believe in the power of the civil justice system. With years spent both representing accident victims and participating in the state legislative process, our founder, Brad Parker, has developed a deep understanding of the law and gained unique experience that helps him get results for his clients.