Summer Construction 2021
An active summer construction season is coming up across Metro Atlanta, creating traffic slowdowns due to work zones. The major project this summer includes:
- The 285/400 improvement project,
- The I-75/ I-285 resurfacing project in Clayton County,
- Road reconstruction on both I-75 and I-85 in Fayette County.
Distraction is one of the leading causes of car accidents, especially in construction zones. You should prepare by checking work zones before getting in the car. In addition to using your phone GPS to track traffic flow, GDOT lists major road work and closures each week on their website. Drivers should also pay extra attention when driving in work zones. In addition to the usual risks that drivers face in construction zones, drivers must safely navigate large trucks, heavy machinery, and hazardous materials.
Because construction zones are more dangerous, the law imposes additional duties of care to both drivers and the workers in these zones. Recently in Athens-Clarke County. a man was killed in a car accident involving an asphalt truck. Additionally, everyday drivers receive tickets for speeding and endangering the lives of construction workers and other drivers on the road.
The Legal Duty of Care of Drivers in a Construction Zone
You, as a driver, have a heightened duty of care in construction zones. O.C.G.A. § 40-6-188 lowers speed limits in construction zones. Signage denotes the decrease in speed at the start and end of the designated construction zone. Even when workers are not present, drivers should abide by the decrease in speed. Even without workers present, the equipment presents additional risks as well.
Additionally, in Georgia, drivers must exercise “due care,” defined as the care exercised by the reasonably prudent driver in similar circumstances. In construction zones, this means exercising greater caution is due to the additional risks. If you fail to do so you can be found negligent.
You may be found negligent if you are:
- Not adhering to temporary road signs and traffic signals
- Failing to obey road workers directing traffic
- Distracted while driving or driving recklessly
Hurt in an accident in a construction zone this summer
If you crash in construction zones, the construction worker and the construction company may be liable. Workers who stop traffic, leave equipment on the road, or perform construction activities can be negligent. Some activities are so dangerous that a worker can be held “strictly” liable for any injuries that occur, even without negligence.
Construction companies can all be held liable for negligence committed by their employees. They can be held liable if they hired a dangerous employee, failed to supervise employees, or failed to give them adequate safety training.
Especially when workers cause car accidents with negligent behavior, it is necessary to have an attorney. It is likely that construction companies will argue that you were contributorily negligent. This means that you were also negligent for the reasons we discussed above. Because these cases can be so complicated it is imperative that you have a good legal team at your disposal.
If you get hurt in a car accident while driving in a construction zone, we can help you receive the compensation you deserve. No matter if another driver or construction worker caused the accident, we have over a decade of experience helping clients just like you! Call us at 770-955-8322 today for your free consultation.