Each year in the U.S. there are more than five million motor vehicle accidents. If it’s a single vehicle accident, most people assume that the driver must have done something wrong. If two or more cars are involved, the assumption could be that at least one of the drivers was at fault. That’s not always the case, especially when the accident occurs in a construction zone. Road construction is all around us. In 2016, the public sector spent over $91 billion on highway construction. Highway and road construction in the U.S. is projected to grow to over $99.4 billion by the year 2020. Who among us has not at least gripped the steering wheel a little tighter when a once familiar road suddenly twists and turns in unexpected ways as a result of construction?
Other factors outside the driver’s control may have influenced the accident. What about the Traffic Control Plan? Was that road barrier (traffic control device) that the vehicle hit correctly positioned? Was the road barrier even the correct type of traffic control device for that situation? If it was the correct Traffic Control Plan, was the Plan correctly serviced? Did the road barrier have the correct amount of water/sand as ballast?
Analyzing the Traffic Control Plan could be extremely important. Here are some situations where drivers may have done nothing wrong:
• Improper design of construction zone
· Incorrect signage
· Incorrect spacing
· Incorrect equipment
• Improper maintenance of construction zone
• Incorrect certification for employees overseeing the Traffic Control Plan set-ups and take-downs
In addition to a vehicle accident reconstructionist, an engineer who is an accredited Traffic Control Supervisor should be considered. This specialty-trained engineer can scrutinize the traffic control to determine if the Traffic Control Plan was appropriate for the circumstances and whether it was installed correctly. In addition, a Traffic Control Supervisor will check to see if the daily inspections occurred and if the Traffic Control Plan log book was current and without deficiencies. After reviewing all the documentation, the engineer will determine if the approved Traffic Control Plan was correctly implemented at the time of the incident. CED Technologies has civil engineers on staff trained to investigate construction site accidents. If you have a case or claim involving a motor vehicle accident in a construction zone, contact us here.
Senior Mechanical Engineer
Biomechanical Engineer/Mechanical Engineer