Highway work zones can be a dangerous place for California drivers. Work zones usually have narrow lanes, and though they usually require drivers to reduce their speed for good reason, many drivers ignore this. Every 5.4 minutes in the U.S., there is a crash in a highway work zone.
Now, a study from the University of Missouri says that inattentive drivers are 29 times more likely to be in a crash or a near-collision inside a highway work zone. This inattention can be caused by anything, be it using the phone or talking with a passenger, but no matter its duration, the risk remains the same.
Too many drivers underestimate the effect of distractions on their behavior behind the wheel. For instance, sending a text message can take about five seconds. In a vehicle going 55 mph, a driver can travel the length of a football field without once looking up to see the road.
There are many countermeasures that can be taken to reduce distracted driving, and this study could encourage state transportation agencies to implement some of them. They can include bans on texting and all phone use and better public education on driver safety. The study’s results, which are based on naturalistic driving data, may help automakers in their effort to build driverless cars.
As long as a human driver is behind the wheel of a car, he or she has a duty to keep others safe on the road. Most motor vehicle accidents arise because of the failure to uphold this duty, otherwise known as negligence. Victims of negligence may be eligible for compensation under personal injury law, so they may want to have a lawyer evaluate their case to determine how much they might receive. The lawyer may be able to negotiate on victims’ behalf.