Ah, summertime… The smell of freshly mowed lawns, the taste of freshly squeezed lemonade, and… The sound of construction work. It’s no surprise to any South Carolina resident that summer means road construction (and potential road construction accidents). The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) has a 10 year plan in place to continually work on projects designed to improve highway safety, replace structurally deficient bridges, resurface 80% of South Carolina’s roads to a good rating, and widen 12 interstates.
Last year, there were more than 2,000 road construction accidents, resulting a number of fatalities and hundreds of serious injuries. While that may not seem like a lot of accidents, that doesn’t mean that safety shouldn’t be taken into consideration each time you hit the road this summer.
What to do as a driver
One of the best things a driver can do during road construction season is give other cars enough space. Tailgating resulting in most of the road construction accidents that occurred in 2017.
In addition, drivers can:
- Slow when entering work zones (pay attention to signage warning you to do so)
- Avoid driving when distracted (put your phone away!)
- Pay attention to changing traffic signals – they can change at any moment and more quickly, given that they expect you to be driving through construction zones slowly
- Remain calm and give yourself enough time to reach your final stop so you’re not rushing and speeding past the posted limit
- Move over when approaching work crews, if able
What to do as a road worker
- Individual road workers can’t control drivers, delays, or detours but you can take precautions to avoid road construction accidents:
- Wear visibility gear whenever you’re working
- Stay alert and aware of your surroundings in case you need to make a quick getaway
- Stay within your designated work areas
- Make sure you’re also complying to traffic control and properly operating your work equipment or your own vehicle
- Stay ahead of the changing site and weather conditions
These steps are simple and can determine whether you continue to go home safe and sound or end up bed-ridden, recovering from serious injuries.
If another person or driver is acting recklessly in your work area and ends up causing an accident, keep in mind that you can file for workers’ compensation or pursue a personal injury claim.
Have your or a loved one been injured in a road construction accident? Contact The Clardy Law Firm to see what options you have available.