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Spring and summer car accident avoidance in work zones

With the weather growing warmer every day, construction projects which have been dormant all winter are likely to spring to life again soon, if they haven't already. With increased construction and road maintenance comes an increase in work zones which local Delaware drivers must navigate with care. Unfortunately, it's not unusual for various types of car accidents to happen in and around work zones, which is why it's so important to always be aware.

A construction work zone can often be divided into several distinct areas, including the advance warning area, where signs warn drivers of what is ahead, the transition area, in which traffic must move into a different path than normal, the actual area of activity, and the termination area, where traffic may again move, this time back into its normal path. At any stage of a work zone, a distracted or unaware driver can cause serious injury and pain and suffering. In work zones, harm can be done not only to other drivers and to passengers, but also to pedestrians and construction workers.

Some of the most important signs to look for in a work zone area is one which features two arrows side-by-side, one pointing up and another pointing down. This usually means that an area of the road which typically only has traffic moving in one direction now has two-way traffic; drivers should be especially alert to oncoming traffic after seeing this sign. Another common sign near work zones is the signal that one lane is ending and its occupants need to merge into the other lane. Drivers who wait until the last minute might strike a barrier or a worker, or may sideswipe another vehicle and cause property damage or injuries.

Rear end collisions are especially common in and around work zones. Often, traffic is forced to either go very slowly or come to a stop near a work zone - drivers who aren't paying attention may hit their brakes too late and slam into stopped or slowed cars in front of them. A rear end collision can cause broken bones, whiplash, pain and suffering and more.

Those who have been struck by negligent drivers in work zones may be entitled to thorough compensation for damages. A careless driver can be held accountable, and if the accident was a hit and run, legal help can show a victim what their options are.

Source: USDOT Federal Highway Administration, "Work Zone Safety for Drivers," accessed April 23, 2016

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