Highway work zones can be a dangerous place thanks to the narrower lanes and the reduced speed limit that many drivers ignore, so it’s not surprising that work zones are common sites for many accidents in New York. In fact, a crash occurs every 5.4 minutes in a highway work zone across the country. A study from the University of Missouri has recently found that distracted drivers are at a particularly high risk for a crash in these zones.
Researchers looked at naturalistic driving study data involving more than 3,000 crash initiators and their interactions with their vehicle, the road and their environment prior to the crash. They came to the conclusion that drivers who become inattentive for any span of time are 29 times more likely to be in a crash or near-collision in a highway work zone.
It should be kept in mind that drivers can become inattentive in multiple ways. They could use their phone, eat and drink or converse with a passenger. Even daydreaming will lead to inattention. Sending a text behind the wheel is one of the most popular forms of distracted driving. This can take around five seconds, which means a driver going 55 mph will be virtually blind to his or her surroundings for the length of a football field. The study’s results may prompt some states to consider a ban on texting and other phone use.
When auto accidents occur because one of the drivers was distracted, a victim who was injured and not at fault may file a claim. In cases of minor injuries, victims may be covered by personal injury protection. Those who suffered serious injuries may file a third-party insurance claim, but they are advised to have a lawyer evaluate the case before moving forward. A lawyer may handle all the negotiation for a fair settlement.