At the end of September and beginning of October, there were two separate crashes on I-35. One of the accidents led to the death of an 86-year-old woman; the other resulted in a four-car pile-up where, thankfully, no one was hurt. On September 21st, a UPS semi-truck hit four vehicles in southbound lanes of Rte. 75. On October 3rd, another deadly crash occurred on I-35, when a car spun out of control and hit a truck.
These collisions all had one thing in common: they all involved construction zones. In fact, according to the Purcell Register, there have been six fatal accidents “in the construction zone [by I-35] since construction began in September 2016 for the bridge over state Highway 74.” Construction zones are some of the most dangerous areas on the road for drivers. The excess traffic can cause people to drive recklessly, or to become distracted, and the crumbling infrastructure can lead to additional safety concerns, for drivers and construction workers alike.
Protect yourself from construction zone accidents
Oklahoma needs a lot of infrastructure work, but deep slashes to the budget have made it difficult to complete those projects in a timely manner. Needless to say, we’ll be dealing with roadwork for a long time. You cannot control the behavior of other drivers or workers, of course, but you can take certain defense driving steps that may protect you and your loved ones.
- Leave yourself plenty of time to get where you need to go.
- Take alternate routes when traveling, if you expect construction to be ongoing.
- Use your day lights and headlights to make yourself more visible.
- Stick to the speed limit while driving through construction zones – especially if the limit has been lowered for a specific stretch of land.
- Don’t play “chicken” with the truck drivers by trying to pass them on the right, where you’ll be in their blind spots.
- Stay within the solid lines while driving through work zones.
- Keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road at all times.
- Pull into another lane whenever possible, so that you’re not driving directly next to the work area.
Construction workers are also at risk of being seriously injured while they’re working on roads. Like on any site, make sure you wear reflective and protective clothing, to make yourself as visible as possible. Do not crouch by the side of the road at all, if you can help it, because drivers may not be able to see you. Take added precautions at night, too; there may be fewer cars on the road at that time, but that doesn’t mean they are any less dangerous.
If you were hurt in a car crash in a construction zone, Stipe Law Firm is ready and able to help. We’ve been Oklahoma’s trusted car crash lawyers for the last 60 years; you can trust us to do right by you, too. To speak to an experienced attorney at our McAlester office, please call (918) 505-7741 or fill out our contact form.