The hazards of driving under normal conditions cannot be understated. However, when you add the dangers of driving through construction sites, the likelihood of accidents and injuries are amplified. Cones and signs jut out into the roadway and may distract or confuse motorists. Worse, sometimes construction site material ends up in the roadway and can become dangerous roadblocks.
Our experienced team of attorneys at Dominguez Law is keenly aware of the dangers that construction sites pose to drivers. If you have been in an accident at a construction site or work zone in New Mexico, we can help you understand your legal rights under New Mexico law and outline some tips for staying safe when driving through them.
Things to Remember When Driving through Construction Zones
Although driving through construction zones is always dangerous, these few tips will make the process a bit safer.
Know Where Work Zones Are and Plan Accordingly
Probably the best tip for driving through construction zones is to plan ahead. Use every tool at your disposal, such as apps, GPS systems with traffic information, routing and mapping software, DOT websites, radio traffic advisories, etc. to find work-zone locations.
Avoid major construction areas with route changes when reasonable. If avoidance is not an option, plan your trip so you travel through work zones during off-peak hours, and give yourself extra time. Once you know where and when to avoid construction zones while driving, you will be less prone to accidents.
Keep an Eye Out for Workers and Equipment
Construction equipment can move unexpectedly into travel lanes, as can workers who forget their positions. If you do not see workers in a marked zone, always assume they are present, even on weekends and at night. Also look for tools such as shovels and rakes that could be in traffic lanes.
Approach with Caution
Slow down, pay close attention to work-zone signs and flaggers, and be ready to follow workers’ traffic directions. Constantly scan your mirrors for vehicles trying to overtake you, noting when they enter blind spots. Even if you’re obeying traffic laws in construction areas, others may not, so it is best to be extra cautious of those around you.
Expect Narrow Lane Widths and Pattern Changes
Most temporary construction lanes are designed for typical passenger vehicles and might not take into account commercial-truck widths. When concrete barricades are set up as lane dividers, make sure to be on alert and give yourself extra time and space to maneuver.
Expect a Rough Ride
Orange construction signs will warn you of major bumps and dips. Traffic is sometimes directed to drive over gravel surfaces in construction zones. Large metal plates are often used to reinforce bridges and overpasses while they are being repaired. Drive slowly to avoid any potential damage to your tires or vehicle.
Who is Responsible for Accidents Caused by Construction Zones?
In New Mexico, governments and appointed businesses are responsible for ensuring that roads are designed and built safely. For accidents caused by the road or when the road is a contributing factor to the collision, compensation may be sought from the government or business representatives who breached their duty to maintain safe roadways.
Contact Dominguez Law Today for a Free Consultation
At Dominguez Law, our contingency fee policy means there is no financial risk to you, no out-of-pocket fees, and we only collect legal fees if we successfully win your case. The New Mexico highway construction zone accident attorneys will fight for you as you work through your injuries and focus on your recovery. Contact our office today and we can get the process started with a free consultation. We can be reached at (505) 317-9837 or through our website contact form. We also speak Spanish.