With summer weather here for the foreseeable future, citizens across the country can expect road construction projects to be put into full force. And a new report casts a light on those persons who might be affected the most by such projects: bicyclists.
When a construction project is taking place on the right side of a road, it is almost necessarily going to compromise a biker’s ability to stay over as far as they possibly can. As such, drivers themselves have to give bikes the necessary cushion and not roar past them in order to get ahead. But construction companies can also do what they can to protect such individuals.
The city of Watsonville, for instance, has a set of guidelines in place that companies are advised to follow. Typical construction projects must place “Road Work Ahead” signs all along the path leading toward a work site, and in instances where bike lanes are compromised, “Share the Road” and “Bike Lane Closed Ahead” await riders and drivers.
But some concerned citizens worry that this isn’t going far enough, and that oftentimes such signage is in short supply or else placed along blind curves, not prompting the rider early enough on their commute. Such persons want more of a heads-up. The Santa Cruz Regional Transportation Commission prefers to see signs that say something like “Bikes May Use Full Lane,” as this more accurately describes upcoming obstacles.
According to highway safety experts, distracted drivers are responsible for approximately fifty percent of all collisions that occur in highway construction work zones. Distracted drivers are often unaware the roadways have been altered in response to ongoing highway construction projects, according to a representative of the North Tarrant Express Project, a North Texas firm in charge of a road construction project in the region. Speed limits in construction zones have recently been lowered to 50 miles per hour in the area in an attempt to reduce the number of collisions that occur in designated work zones. Four police cars have been struck in recent work zone collisions along Interstate 635, and several other accidents have involved injuries that required an emergency response at ongoing construction projects along the LBJ express. According to safety experts, distracted drivers, whether distracted by handheld communication devices, applying make-up, or eating, face double the risk of being involved in a construction zone collision that that faced by drivers impaired by the use of drugs or alcohol.
As a car accident attorney in San Jose, I am hopeful that motorists will behave more safely in designated construction work zones to reduce the risk of accidents. If you or someone you love has been injured in an automotive collision, please consider discussing your options for legal recourse with a San Jose personal injury attorney.