Texas Construction Zone Accident Lawyer
Texas drivers in and around major cities are accustomed to delays brought on by road construction. The state is working non-stop to expand highways and meet the needs of a growing population, but that population growth also means more traffic is passing through congested work zones.
In 2015, 21,886 vehicle crashes occurred in Texas work zones – an increase of 13 percent from 2014. And in 2014, Texas led the nation in work zone crash fatalities. Additional traffic controls and high-tech solutions may make work zones safer, but the primary cause of construction zone accidents is careless driving. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, speeding and inattention are the top causes of construction zone accidents.
If you’ve suffered an injury in a construction zone crash due to another driver’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. TheEvans & Herlihy Law Firm has years of experience helping personal injury victims get the financial settlements they need to cover their medical costs and other losses.
More Residents, More Traffic
Four of the top 10 fastest-growing United States cities with populations greater than 500,000 are in Texas: Houston, San Antonio, Austin, and the Dallas-Fort Worth area. And along with an increase in population comes an increase in frustrating traffic jams. In Austin alone, 75 new drivers are on the road each day.
TxDOT announced a plan in January 2016 that would invest $1.3 billion in highway improvements in these most-populated areas, including three projects specifically earmarked for the Austin section of Interstate 35. With work zone accidents already a serious problem in Texas, a sharp increase in highway construction projects may mean even more crashes, unless all drivers take safety seriously.
Types of Work Zone Crashes
When speeding or inattentive drivers come upon slowed or stopped traffic in work zones, they may be unable to brake in time to avoid a crash. And in many work zones, concrete barriers prohibit access to the shoulder of the road, so a driver may be unable to swerve to avoid a crash. All of these factors explain why rear-end crashes account for up to half of daytime accidents in construction zones.
In 2012, an 18-wheeler rear-ended a passenger car on Texas State Highway 239, about 80 miles southeast of San Antonio, killing the two back seat passengers and seriously injuring the front seat occupants. Another crash in 2012 in Houston County resulted in one fatality and eight injuries, after the driver of an 18-wheeler ran into the rearmost car stopped in construction traffic and caused a chain-reaction crash involving three other vehicles.
In Texas, a moving vehicle violation that occurs in an active construction zone automatically doubles the fine for that offense, yet speeding continues to cause many work zone crashes.
TxDOT in April 2016 set up orange cones in the shape of a ribbon in front of its office building in Sherman to remind drivers about the number of people who died in work zones the previous year. That effort was part of National Work Zone Awareness Week, which emphasizes the importance of slowing down and paying attention in work zones.
To reduce the number of work zone crashes along I-35 in Austin, TxDOT implemented the use of portable work zone rumble strips and digital warning signs, to alert drivers about nighttime lane closures and slowed or stopped traffic. Those measures were effective in getting drivers to slow down when approaching congested areas and reduced crashes by up to 45 percent.
Representing Victims and Their Families
Injuries suffered in car accidents can have long-lasting effects and require extensive rehabilitation, multiple surgeries, or the need for home health aides and specialized medical equipment. Families often experience significant financial hardship, as they do whatever they can to help a loved one recover from accident-related injuries.
If a reckless driver caused a crash that seriously injured you or someone in your family, you may be able to pursue a personal injury claim against the responsible party or parties and get compensation for your losses and expenses. Don’t wait to ask for help. Request your free consultation today by using our online form or calling us at 1-855-414-1012.