Construction zones exist so that both drivers and construction workers can safely navigate areas of the road that are being improved. When you are driving through an active, or even inactive, construction zone, you are expected to proceed with caution in case there are workers in the road. When workers aren’t careful, or when a driver isn’t careful, it can lead to an accident that can be deadly.
In 2018, there were nearly 5,000 accidents in work zones, according to the South Carolina Traffic Fact Book. While the majority of those collisions only produced property damage, over 1,000 also caused injuries. 67 caused serious injuries, and 25 were fatal.
If you’ve been in a collision in a construction zone, then you could use the help of a South Carolina construction zone accident lawyer from The Solomon Law Group. At our firm, we’re experienced in representing clients of these kinds of wrecks and know which state laws apply. We’ll fight to ensure the correct person is held accountable for their negligence and get you the compensation you deserve for your damages.
South Carolina Construction Zone Laws
Our state maintains strict construction zone laws to ensure that workers and drivers are safe travelling through a work area on the road or highway. According to South Carolina legislature, you can be punished for endangering a worker for many different actions. You can be penalized for driving through the construction zone in a lane that is not designated for use and for failing to obey traffic control signals that are posted around the zone that are meant to control traffic.
Here are the fines that a driver can incur from endangering a construction worker:
- Between $500 and $1,000 for endangering a worker but causing them no physical harm
- Between $1,000 and $2,000 for endangering a worker and causing them physical harm as a direct result
- Between $2,000 and $5,000 for endangering a worker and causing them great physical harm
- Anywhere from two to four points added to their driver’s license
However, if the accident was caused by a mechanical defect in your car, or another driver’s negligence, then you should not be charged for endangering the worker.
Legislation also notes that passing in a work zone is prohibited. In highway work zones, passing another vehicle endangers the workers because the flow of traffic is usually limited to a single lane and slowed. When a driver passes another in a work zone, they are being negligent and reckless, and will face penalties.
Traffic must yield to workers and construction vehicles in work zones. Any vehicle or worker who is actively working in a construction zone, or any vehicle leaving a work zone with its lights on has the right of way in a work zone. Violating this could result in serious injuries for a worker or anyone else involved in the collision.
If you’ve been in an accident in a work zone that wasn’t your fault, you could use legal representation. Our South Carolina construction zone accident attorney can help you get justice for your injuries and damages while ensuring that your rights are protected.
Now that you understand the laws surrounding work zones in South Carolina, let’s take a look at what parts most work zones consist of in our state.
Common Work Zone Structures and Workers
There are specific types of workers who are usually in construction zones in our state. These people are the most at risk for suffering from injuries or even being killed when a motorist breaks the law and drives recklessly through a work zone. Motorists can also be injured, but workers are more exposed and vulnerable on the side of the road.
Flaggers work closely to vehicles, as they hold signs and flags for cars to see and maneuver around. Both vehicles passing through the zone and construction vehicles can fatally strike traffic control flaggers since they are so close to traffic and still near the area where the larger vehicles are working as well.
Surveyors can also be hit by traffic and construction vehicles. The drivers and operators of pavers and other large construction vehicles can be at risk for injury as well if a motor vehicle hits them, or if they’re operating on uneven ground and get into an accident on their own.
It’s important to remember that construction often occurs at night, so it causes minimal disruption to everyday traffic, which makes workers even less visible to motorists. That’s why being aware of construction zones and their parts are so essential. Here are the different parts to a construction zone so that you know how to safely navigate through one:
- Warning area with signs to alert drivers that they will soon be entering a work zone, the speed limit for the area, and if there are shoulder or lane closures.
- Transition area where the lanes shift or consolidate.
- Buffer areas between the workers and regular vehicles, though this is optional and might not be set up if the work zone is in a tight space and doesn’t have room for a buffer.
- Work area for workers.
- Termination area where there is a sign to alert of the ending of the work zone, where drivers can return to normal speed and flow of traffic.
As a driver approaching a work zone, you must be cautious and vigilant. This can be the difference between driving through the area safely and getting into a collision. An accident in one of these areas can be serious, which is why you could use the support of a construction zone accident lawyer when you weren’t the driver at fault. At The Solomon Law Group, we’re here to help you through the legal process.
We’re Here to Help You
When you’ve been injured in an accident that occurred in a construction zone and it wasn’t your fault, then you could use the help of one of our attorneys from The Solomon Law Group. Our South Carolina construction zone accident lawyer fully understands that this is a vulnerable time for you. That’s why we’re here to help.
We’ll investigate what happened and determine who was responsible so that we can get you the justice that you deserve for the injuries that you suffered. Reach out to our office today so we can get started helping you right away.