Work zones are everywhere in Fort Lauderdale and South Florida. It seems as though they are unavoidable. Everywhere you turn, there is a construction crew working in the left lane, shoulder, slow lane, or entire roads are closed to through traffic. No matter where you encounter a work zone in South Florida, you are at risk of being injured when driving through it.
Work zones can crop up overnight without much warning, which can affect your morning commute. No matter the circumstance, be sure to practice safe driving techniques whenever you are in a work zone to limit your chances of suffering an injury in a Fort Lauderdale car accident.
Work zone accident statistics
In a shocking twist, drivers and passengers are killed more often than construction workers in work zone accidents across the country. According to data from the Federal Highway Administration, 621 drivers and passengers died in nationwide work zone accidents in 2018, while 842 drivers and passengers died in nationwide accidents in 2019. In 2018, 124 workers were killed and in 2019, 135 workers were killed in work zone accidents.
There were increases in the types of fatal work zone accidents from 2018 to 2019, including the following:
- 141 deaths in rear-end crashes in 2018 compared to 182 deaths in 2019
- 215 deaths involving a commercial vehicle in 2018 compared to 250 deaths in 2019
- 172 deaths in crashes caused by speeding in 2018 compared to 239 deaths in 2019
Common causes of work zone crashes
Our Fort Lauderdale car accident attorney has seen the following causes most often when representing victims of work zone accidents:
- Improperly changing lanes
- Failing to yield the right-of-way
- Distracted, impaired, and drowsy driving
- Vehicle ran over debris in the road
- Vehicle ran off the roadway
These causes of car crashes often lead to the following types of work zone car accidents:
- Sideswipe accidents when two vehicles are traveling in the same direction
- Rear-end crashes
- Head-on crashes
- Roadway departure accidents
A work zone accident caused by other motorists can cause serious injuries to you and your loved ones. You can hold those drivers accountable for their actions, especially if they were driving distracted, impaired, or aggressive at the time of the crash.
Injuries caused by work zone car accidents
Victims of work zone car accidents can suffer injuries ranging from minor cuts and scrapes to serious ones such as paralysis or death. The most common types of injuries caused by work zone car accidents include the following:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Broken bones
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
- Burn injuries
- Eye injuries
- Neck, back, and shoulder injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
Work zone accidents caused by the construction team
Work zone car accidents aren’t just caused by other motorists. They can also be caused by the construction team operating in the work zone. The workers must remain attentive at all times when in the work zone, especially if they are assigned to traffic control (flagger who is alternating lanes of travel).
When a construction worker fails to pay attention to traffic, or uses the wrong hand signals when directing traffic, a serious work zone car accident can occur. If this happens, the construction worker or their employer could be held liable for the resulting accident and injuries to the motorists.
Inattentive construction workers can also cause construction equipment accidents with passing vehicles. If traffic is supposed to be stopped completely for a brief period so equipment can be rearranged, but it is not, a crane or other piece of heavy machinery could wind up striking a passing vehicle.
Drowsy and impaired construction workers are just as dangerous as drowsy and impaired drivers. Construction workers need to be well-rested and sober when working with or around heavy machinery in order to avoid suffering injuries of their own or causing an accident that injures someone else.
What to do if you are injured in a Ft. Lauderdale work zone accident
If you are ever injured in a work zone accident, you should not stop in the work zone unless your car is disabled. If you can safely move the car out of the work zone to the shoulder or into a parking lot, do so immediately so you do not impede traffic. Once you are in a safe place be sure to call 911. You will want the police to file a report about the crash that your Fort Lauderdale car accident attorney can use when building a case against the at-fault party.
Depending on the severity of your injuries, you should try to take pictures of the scene, your vehicle, and your injuries. If the crash was caused by construction equipment, be sure to take pictures of the equipment involved in the accident.
Make sure you remain at the scene of the crash or somewhere close so responding emergency personnel can examine you for injuries. Take all of the recommendations given by the EMTs, including being transported to the hospital for additional tests. Follow all of the doctor’s orders, including taking any prescribed medication for the length of the prescription so no one can say that you deviated from the instructions.
How to protect yourself when driving in a work zone in South Florida
The next time you drive through a work zone, be sure to do the following to protect yourself:
- Give yourself plenty of time
- Leave room between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you
- Use your headlights no matter the time of day
- Slow down when entering the work zone, while in the work zone, and as you exit the work zone
- Do not change lanes if the lines are solid or a no passing sign is posted
- Merge with other traffic well ahead of a lane closure
- Watch for instructions from flaggers
Were you or a loved one injured in a work zone car accident? Whether you were hit by a speeding vehicle, construction equipment, or a hazardous condition in the work zone, you deserve to be compensated for your injuries. Call the Yeboah Law Group at 1-800-TELL-SAM, or complete our contact form to schedule a consultation today. We operate offices in Fort Lauderdale, Key West, Miami, and Boca Raton to better serve our clients.