Work zone auto accidents are some of the most dangerous and deadly collisions in Pennsylvania, explains Philadelphia area personal injury lawyer, Michael L. Saile Jr. There are certain rules motorists must follow while driving through construction zones. Likewise, there are state issued guidelines construction companies must follow when preparing and operating a road construction zone. All work zone safety laws are put in place to protect both drivers and highway workers from accident injuries.
There are two different types of work zones: posted and active.
Posted Work Zone
- A posted work zone is one that is already set off by indicators, so motorists are aware it is there, but there are no workers at the site.
- If the cost of the project is over $300,000 there will be a speed monitoring device present to alert drivers as to how fast they are going as they enter the construction zone.
- Drivers are to have headlights on when going through a posted work zone (drivers in vehicles with daytime running lights must turn on headlights in order to activate their taillights).
Active Work Zone
- This type of zone must be posted as such, notifying motorists when they enter and leave the work zone. A sign reading, “Active Work Zone When Flashing” indicates an active work zone. The flashing sign will only be in effect when workers are present.
- Motorists must have headlights on (drivers in vehicles with daytime running lights must turn on headlights in order to activate their taillights).
- Required speed limit through the construction zone is posted. Driving 11 miles per hour or more over the posted speed limit can cost you loss of your license for 15 days.
- If you are involved in an accident and are found to have been at fault due to failing to drive at a safe speed, you will automatically lose your license for 15 days.
- Fines for certain traffic violations committed in an active work zone, such as speeding and driving under the influence (DUI), are doubled.
In 2011, 571 Pennsylvania drivers had their license suspended for committing road work zone violations.
According to PennDOt records, in 2010 there were 1,884 accidents in PA work zones, which was a big increase from the prior year. During the 5-year period from 2005-2010, there were 114 fatalities resulting from work zone collisions.
Work Zone Safety Measures
In addition to following the law, the following are tips to help you get through a work zone without causing or being involved in a PA auto accident:
- Stay alert and pay close attention to work zone signs and human flaggers
- Do not change lanes within the work zone
- Take notice of and follow the posted speed limit
- Do not tailgate
- Do not become distracted with an electronic device or other item or activity
- Be patient, and cautious
If you or a loved one has been injured in a Pennsylvania road work zone accident, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your options. The staff at Cordisco & Saile LLC is here to answer your questions and learn about your case. Call us at 215-642-2335 to schedule your FREE consultation. We also encourage you to download your FREE copy of our book, How to Maximize Your Pennsylvania Car Accident Case Before an Insurance Company Takes Advantage of You.