Are summer drivers paying enough attention in construction zones?

A recent truck accident on the Pennsylvania Turnpike closed westbound traffic. Fortunately, the truck did not crash into any other motor vehicles, nor did it spill its cargo: nearly 1,800 gallons of diesel fuel. Yet that is not the most newsworthy aspect of this story.

Our law firm focuses on motor vehicle accidents of all sizes. Although the damage in this example could have been much worse, we are still troubled by the crash location: a construction zone. According to a PA Turnpike spokesperson, the section of road under repairs had no shoulder. Although the speed limit was reduced to 55 mph in that zone, the absence of a shoulder may have created unsafe conditions, especially if drivers were not paying extra attention to road conditions.

Given the severity of Pennsylvania winters, it’s no surprise that summer is an opportune time for repairs on state highways and roads. Unfortunately, motorists may not be driving with the duty of care they need to make safe and responsible choices in construction zones.

The absence of snow or rain may lull drivers into a false sense of security in construction zones. However, such work may create extra driving challenges, as in today’s story where there was no shoulder. Other construction zones may have uneven surfaces, abrupt bumps or drops, or other hazards that may catch a driver unawares. Traffic flow in construction zones may also be unpredictable, perhaps with slow moving or stopped traffic.

When a driver’s carelessness or inattention to road conditions, including construction zones, causes injury to another motorist, civil liability may attach. Our law firm focuses on personal injury claims, including serious injuries from motor vehicle accidents. We understand that a crash victim may have substantial costs after an accident, including lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering. If you have suffered an injury, a lawyer may help you better prepare for your future costs.

Source: CBS Philly, “Crews Work To Repair Guard Rail After Tanker Truck Accident Closes Westbound Lanes On Stretch Of PA Turnpike,” May 27, 2015