More than the majority of America, the Phoenix area has experienced a substantial boom in population in recent decades. With nearly a growth of 500,000 residents between 1990 and 2013, the Valley has sprawled in all directions, spurring new development, new housing, and new businesses.
All of this growth has led to massive construction projects in Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Glendale, Chandler, and Tempe as well as across the remainder of Maricopa County. Those who have lived in the Valley for all of their lives may remember a time before the Loop 202 existed or may recall a smaller, more condensed Phoenix area without the urban sprawl that marks the city today.
Significant construction continues to take place annually with new projects taking route and older project receiving updating, and with this construction comes some inconvenience to those who use the areas. Many of these building projects have taken place recently along area freeways, highways, city streets, and roadways and they have been marked by the sight of orange barrels and cones.
Some drivers dread the sight of construction along the route they are traveling because it means that they may be inconvenienced, slowed down, or even stuck in unexpected traffic. While this may be true, it is important to realize that road construction is a necessary part of living in the Phoenix area and that it serve a vital purpose – creating and maintaining the roads that enable citizens to travel freely in the area.
Instead of focusing on the negative aspects of construction, experts suggest that drivers turn their attention to the safety issues posed by construction zones so that they can take any steps necessary to ensure they remain accident-free.
In Arizona, construction zones generally are accompanied by reduced speeds, meaning that all motorists are required to slow down when passing an active construction area. Failing to do so may lead to a citation for driving too fast for conditions, and if that citation is given in a construction area, the fines assessed will be double those of a typical speeding fine. The threat of a fine is a good reasons for drivers to slow down but it is not the only reason. The biggest issue in construction zones remains the safety of drivers and workers in the area, and as speeding is a factor in nearly 50 percent of all car accidents, it is wise for drivers to maintain control of their speed when driving.
Collisions in construction zones are most likely to affect workers in the area and to cause them harm. Typically, these victims are pedestrians who are unprotected by vehicles, machinery, or other fixed objects in the event of a crash, leading those victims to take the full impact when a car accident takes place. If a construction worker is injured or killed, it is possible that multiple claims may belong to that worker and/or that worker’s family to obtain financial compensation for all the harm that results, though no amount of money can ever be considered adequate when a loved one loses her life.
But workers are not the only ones who face the threat of harm in a construction zone accident. In addition, drivers and passengers in cars traveling through those areas may be harmed if a crash results, and in particular if a second vehicle is involved. Often, one driver makes a mistake or errs in his conduct, causing a crash that includes several vehicles in a construction area. In other cases, a piece of machinery for construction work may be moved or placed improperly, leading to a crash with a passing car. Regardless of the set up which led to a car accident, if one occurred and those involved were injured, relief may be possible.
Accidents involving construction zones can be complicated and can be difficult to understand. If you were involved in one, call the personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. toll free at (855) PHX-LAWYER or locally at (602) 819-5191. We offer a no-cost, no-obligation case consultation and we have a lawyer standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Prior Blog Entry:
Bicycle Collisions: A Primer for Phoenix Motorists, Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, published October 26, 2015.