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Highway work zone wrecks

Florida drivers are no doubt aware that highway work zones pose a safety risk. The lanes are narrowed, and not all drivers will want to reduce their speed to the posted limit. Moreover, it turns out that distractions can make these zones especially dangerous.

A University of Missouri study says that inattentive drivers are 29 times more likely to have a crash or near-crash in a highway work zone. As for how long they are inattentive for, this does not matter, so drivers face the same risk whether they are sending a text or simply talking with another passenger.

In this country, there is a crash in a highway work zone every 5.4 minutes. Prior to this study, though, there have been few endeavors to find out just how drivers were interacting with their vehicle, the road or their surroundings prior to a work zone crash. This study is unique in that it relies not on crash reports but on naturalistic driving study data provided by the Transportation Research Board.

The results of this study may be helpful in determining what “behavioral countermeasures” would help the most in reducing highway work zone crashes. The countermeasures that state transportation agencies could consider include better public education and bans on texting or all phone use.

Many drivers, unfortunately, have a habit of driving distracted and will be unwilling to change that habit. Whenever their sort of negligence causes car accidents, though, they may face a claim. Victims, for their part, may want to retain legal counsel before moving forward. A lawyer may help them gather the needed evidence and may speak on their behalf during negotiations. Should a fair settlement not be forthcoming, victims may consult with their lawyer about litigation.

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