The Hazards of Highway Construction Zones

Posted by Injury Lawyers of Ontario on August 11, 2016

A hazardous driving condition we often encounter on Ontario highways is a sudden, sometimes unexpected highway construction project requiring a motorist to take immediate evasive action. Motor vehicle accidents in and around highway work zones kill over 1000 motorists in North America every year and this number is increasing each year by double digits.  In many cases, collisions occur when a driver is inattentive or speeding and fails to react in time to slowed traffic at construction zones.  Sometimes, the motor vehicle accident is directly the result of negligence, carelessness or recklessness of highway construction workers, heavy machinery operators or the government planners themselves. The ways in which motor vehicle accidents occur in and around highway construction sites are almost too numerous to list.

Reduced Speed Ahead

Highway construction and renovation zones usually require a motorist to reduce one's speed by up to 75%, and sometimes dangerously merge several lanes of traffic into a one, slow moving lane. There is often a lack of an adequate number of speed-limit and highway construction zone warning signs in the kilometers approaching the construction site and this can cause fast moving traffic to have to break too quickly and unsafely. If traffic has backed up to a blind curve, speeding oncoming traffic could smash into the back of unexpectedly stopped traffic.

Low Shoulders

Highway construction projects at times involve widening a roadway and that means eliminating the shoulder that would normally serve as a buffer zone to prevent you from going off the road and hitting the guardrail. In fact, when widening a highway, the guardrail that was keeping a motorist from going down a steep embankment or off  a cliff has been removed without being replaced or warning. Highway construction zone managers have a responsibility to keep traffic away from these dangerous ledges.

Heavy Machinery Operating

In a highway construction zone, extremely large, slow-moving equipment often transverses from one side of the highway to the other requiring traffic to come to a complete stop. Heavy machinery like dump trucks, road graders, and steam rollers are not particularly built for safety and these vehicles often have poor visibility. A catastrophic accident can occur should a highway construction motorman fail to warn a motorist to stop, or if a heavy machinery operator fails to see a motorist coming. A collision with one of these behemoths could certainly cause grave injuries or even death.

Uneven Pavement

Multi-lane roadways that are being repaved are frequently uneven where there is a sharp drop off from one lane to another. This sudden drop can cause a person to easily lose control of their vehicle and spin out of control. Careless highway construction zone management sometimes allows vehicles return to full speed too soon, traveling in one good lane, while the other lane is still under construction.

If you have been injured or have suffered the loss of a loved one in a motor vehicle accident, call an experienced Injury Lawyers of Ontario attorney in your community today to find out how we can help.  If another vehicle plowed into yours at a construction zone, both the 'at fault' driver and manager of the construction project (including the municipality, construction company and/or Ministry of Transportation) may be responsible and held liable for your injury.

With local offices in many communities throughout Ontario, such as the Markham automobile accident lawyers, our knowledgeable lawyers offer a no-obligation consultation to discuss your legal right to compensation, given the unique circumstances of your accident.  

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