A disproportionate number of serious traffic collisions occur in road work and construction zones, given the relatively low number of miles where road work takes place. In fact, between 2014 and 2018, a total of 54 people were killed in Missouri construction zones, according to the Missouri Department of Transportation (MDOT). During that same time period, 3,248 people were injured in work zone collisions. The most common causes of construction zone collisions include distracted driving and inattentiveness, following too closely behind the vehicle in front, improper lane usage, driving too fast for the current conditions, and failure to yield right of way.
Tips for Safe Driving Through Road Work Zones in Kansas City
Many road work zones are relatively permanent, staying in place for months or even years, which allows drivers to gain knowledge about the given conditions, where cones are, how narrow the lanes are, when and where lanes merge, and other factors. However, long-term road work also provides an opportunity for complacency, lulling drivers into false senses of security for themselves and for other road users, including the road workers. Other construction zones are short term and maybe moving operations such as mowing the sides of a road or striping or patching the road surface. Regardless of the specific type of road or utility work being performed, drivers are expected, by law, to obey traffic signs, slow down, and pay attention. MDOT urges drivers to do the following whenever they come to a construction zone, where collisions are disproportionately likely to happen:
- Wear a seat belt
- Put your phone away
- Follow the direction of road signs
- Expect the unexpected, such as flaggers and work equipment
- Pay attention by turning the radio down and not using your phone
- Be patient
- Do not speed
- Do not drink and drive or drive while intoxicated; and
- Be courteous and do not tailgate the driver in front of you.
In fact, all of these driving behaviors should be followed whenever and wherever you drive, regardless of whether or not you are passing through a road work zone.
Moving Over for Flashing Lights
Since 2012, Missouri has implemented the Slow Down and Move Over law, which requires all vehicles to slow down and move a lane over for any type of emergency vehicle, law enforcement vehicle, or MDOT vehicle parked on the side of the road that has flashing lights. Lights may be amber, red, or blue – the law applies to all. According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, 126 police officers were killed in the decade from 2008 to 2017 from being struck by motor vehicles. These deaths only include when the police officer was a pedestrian, outside of their own vehicle, and in many cases along a roadside talking to, assisting, or issuing citations to drivers.
Hit in a Kansas City Construction Zone? An Attorney Can Help
Victims injured in construction zones deserve adequate and significant financial compensation, whether they were on foot, in a vehicle, on a bike, or riding a motorcycle. To get started today, contact the Kansas City car accident attorneys at the Krause & Kinsman Law Firm today 816-399-3356 to schedule a free consultation.
Adam Krause is a personal injury, mass tort, business litigation, and employment discrimination attorney who practices in Kansas City, Missouri. He graduated from the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Law and has been practicing law for several years now. Adam Krause has made a career of taking complicated litigation and presenting it in the most elementary terms for a jury of your peers to understand. Learn more about his experience here.