In 2012, the Arkansas Department of Transportation undertook one of the largest highway construction programs. The Connecting Arkansas Project (CAP), was created to improve approximately 200 miles of the state’s intermodal transportation system. With a budget of $1.8 billion, the program has improved transportation connections between cities and contributes to safer traveling.
The program is improving roads all over the state. In October 2019, a massive project began on Interstate 30, which runs through our city of Little Rock. Some of the construction will wrap up before 2020, but the entire project won’t be completed until 2021. While the program is benefiting our state’s roads and travelers, a number of accidents happen in construction zones every year.
Highway accidents are among the most devastating. If you’ve been injured in a wreck, you can seek guidance from a Little Rock construction zone accident lawyer. At McMath Woods P.A., our attorneys are dedicated to helping our clients recover compensation for what they were wrongfully put through.
In order to understand the impact construction zone accidents have on our state, let’s start by taking a look at some statistics.
Fatal Work Zones Crashes in Arkansas
The National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse keeps track of the work zone crashes and fatalities across the country. Their data spans a decade, from 2007 to 2017. While they have national data, they also break the information down by state. Let’s take a look at the Arkansas work zone fatal crashes and fatalities date from 2017:
- There were a total of 20 fatal crashes, resulting in 21 fatalities.
- One fatality was a construction worker.
- Pedestrians were involved in four crashes, resulting in four fatalities.
- Trucks were involved in seven of the crashes, resulting in eight fatalities.
If you look at data from previous years, you can see that the number of fatalities in construction zones is rising. If you’ve been in a construction zone accident or have lost a loved one in a similar situation, it’s important to your claim to understand the factors that caused it.
The Dangers of Large Trucks in Work Zones
Nationally, large truck crashes in work zones contribute to approximately 25% of all fatal work zone accidents. Comparatively, large trucks are only involved in nine to 12 percent of fatal crashes outside of work zones. In rural areas, large trucks are involved in more than 50 percent of fatal work zone crashes that occur during the daytime. In urban areas, one-third of fatal work zone crashes that occur during nighttime hours involved large trucks.
The type of crashes that commonly involve large trucks in work zones include rear-end collisions, sideswipe accidents, impacts with objects, and head-on collisions. The trucks may be tractor-trailers driving through the zone, or construction vehicles involved with the site.
There are some traits associated with larger vehicles that contribute to the number of work zone accidents. For one, the vehicles are longer, wider, and heavier than passenger vehicles. In addition to that, they have a higher center of gravity, larger blind spots, lower acceleration and deceleration rates, and a greater distance between the driver’s eye and vehicle headlights.
Construction Equipment Accidents
In addition to large trucks creating dangerous roadway situations, construction equipment can be just as hazardous. Not all construction equipment drives on the road like a traditional vehicle. When backhoes, bulldozers, or excavators are on the road, accidents can be devastating. Heavy machinery requires proper training. If an operator is unaware of how to properly run the machinery, they could collide with a motor vehicle or run over a pedestrian.
Other potential hazards include the machinery being improperly positioned, overloaded, defective, or inadequately maintained.
Determining Fault After a Construction Zone Accident in Little Rock
Figuring out who’s responsible for a crash is challenging. When you work with a Little Rock construction zone accident attorney, however, our firm will work to build a case that determines what happened to cause your accident, why it happened, and who’s liable. In the event of a crash in a construction zone, it’s likely one of two parties is at fault: the construction company or a negligent driver.
Construction Company Liability
It’s the responsibility of the construction company to make sure the zone is safe, avoid creating dangers, and warn of potential dangers. When they breach any one of those duties and an accident occurs, the company can be held accountable for the resulting injuries.
Often, a construction zone requires that a portion of the road be shut down, so the crew can work on it properly and safely. A construction company may be liable if it designs an alternate route for motorists that requires dangerous maneuvers. If the company neglects to put out the necessary signage to warn drivers of the detour or potential dangers, it can also be held accountable. In most cases, the company is also at fault in the event one of its employees makes a mistake.
Going up against a company of any size can seem overwhelming, which is why it’s crucial to work with an experienced attorney.
When the construction company isn’t at fault, it’s likely liability is tied to a negligent driver. When a driver is distracted by their cellphone or speeding through a construction zone, the chances of them causing an accident are significant. As a result of their recklessness, they could hit a warning sign or piece of equipment and cause a chain reaction involving other vehicles. They could also rear-end another driver who properly slowed down upon entering the zone.
Seek Compensation with McMath Woods P.A.
If you’ve recently been in a car accident, it’s likely you’re dealing with the physical, emotional, and financial consequences. While undergoing medical treatments can aid in your recovery, medical bills can quickly pile up. If you believe your crash was the result of someone else’s negligent decision, you have the right to seek compensation for your losses. A Little Rock construction zone accident lawyer can help.
We understand the unique challenges of pursuing a claim related to a construction zone accident. While you focus on getting better, we’ll help you get your life back in order. To learn more about your legal rights and options, schedule a case evaluation today.