Drivers Face Special Risks in Construction Zones

drivers entering a construction zone with signs
In construction zones, liability is based on accident fault. A Washington, D.C. personal injury attorney is able to determine who holds liability.

Construction Zones Are Risky for Drivers

Work zone accidents can occur anywhere and can result in serious injuries. Since road construction is so common in Washington, D.C., the Department of Transportation publishes a weekly construction update every two weeks. In fact, the information is mapped out, giving drivers a heads up about road projects by ward. This makes it easy for commuters to look up their route and make changes if need be before heading out.

Why Do Traffic Accidents Happen in Construction Areas?

In construction zones, driver error is often to blame for accidents. Situations such as the following can also lead to serious injuries:

  • Uneven roads: Some road surfaces are uneven, which may be difficult to drive on if you’re at highway speeds. Sometimes the drop-off is steep, causing an accident.
  • Driver error: An intoxicated or distracted driver may cause a collision involving other vehicles due to their negligence. 
  • Vehicle visibility: Vehicles passing through the area or entering and exiting may find it difficult to see each other.
  • Dust and debris: Road work can cause a cloud of dust and debris. This can make it difficult for drivers to see and cause collisions with other vehicles or objects.
  • Poorly marked lanes or narrow spaces: We have all seen construction areas where the red cones are haphazardly placed or lane spacing is too narrow, leaving drivers guessing where to go.

How Dangerous Are Construction Zones?

In 2019, 690 traffic deaths occurred in construction zones across the country, according to the Federal Highway Administration. Bicyclists and pedestrians also died in these work areas. The following factors contributed to these fatalities:

  • Three-quarters of the fatal accidents involved commercial motor vehicles.
  • Twenty-four percent of accidents in road construction zones involved rear-end collisions.
  • Speeding contributed to 31 percent of the fatal accidents at a road construction site.

Construction Area Collisions: Who Is Responsible?

In construction zones, liability is based on accident fault. A Washington, D.C. personal injury attorney is able to determine who holds liability. The following parties or entities may be responsible, including:

  • Government negligence: If signs warning motorists of a construction zone are missing, a government entity may be liable for injuries and accidents.
  • Construction company: If detour signs are inadequately marked and lanes are too narrow, the construction company may be at fault for the accident. In addition, the company may be responsible for collision injuries if there are no warnings and no one is giving directions to motorists.
  • Other motorists: Driver error may also cause an accident in construction zones. 
  • Speeding, driving distracted or inebriated and other forms of negligence can make you liable for an accident involving another vehicle.

How an Attorney Can Help in Construction Zone Accidents

The Roeser Law Firm has helped many clients with accidents that occur in the ongoing D.C. construction. If this happens to you, do not hesitate to call Roeser Law. We will send our investigators to the accident site to unearth evidence of liability by the city or another party. 

If another driver was responsible for your injuries, we will use accident reconstruction techniques and other investigative methods to show negligence. Call us at (202) 660-4070 to set up a free review of your case. You will be able to meet with our attorneys who will respond to your questions and discuss the options you have going forward. You can also connect with us online.

Zeke Roeser


3000 Connecticut Avenue NW
Suite 140
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 660-4070