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New York Highway Construction Zone Accident Leaves Six Dead, One Injured

Published July 24, 2012 by Scott Gottlieb, Injury Law Attorney

Six people died and one person was critically injured in a tragic New York car accident Thursday morning, according to news reports. A tractor-trailer was approaching a highway work zone, on Route 11 in Antwerp, where cars had slowed or stopped. The driver did not stop before striking multiple vehicles, resulting in a fiery crash. Five people in a Rav4 died when the truck struck their vehicle causing it to burst into flames. Another woman died when her car was hit by the tractor-trailer.

A New York Department of Transportation (NYDOT) employee suffered serious injuries in the accident when the NYDOT truck he was driving was struck and also burst into flames. Six vehicles were involved in the accident that left the roadway closed for hours as police and accident reconstruction teams worked the accident site. The tractor-trailer driver was taken to the local hospital for treatment. No charges had been filed by Friday afternoon.

Our Binghamton car accident attorneys emphasize the importance of staying aware of slowing or stopped traffic in construction zones to prevent serious injuries and fatalities. Construction zone accidents are entirely preventable when drivers stay alert and focused when behind the wheel.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) reports there were 87,606 crashes in work zones nationwide in 2010. 576 people died and 37,476 were injured in the accidents. 106 construction workers lost their lives in the accidents. In 2010, New York saw 497 accidents in road construction and maintenance zones with 202 injuries and 5 fatalities.

The New York State Police increase work zone surveillance during the summer months through Operation Hard Hat. In this safety campaign, law enforcement officers are located “inconspicuously” in the work zone to monitor vehicle speeds. The goal of Operation Hard Hat is to promote safe driving habits through work zones and reduce speeds and aggressive driving. Violators will be ticketed.

The New York Department of Transportation website provides critical work zone safe driving tips to educate NY drivers of the importance of driving safely in work zone sites. Visitors to the website can take a work zone sign quiz, and can test their driving skills through a drive simulator. Work zone and speed limit signs are displayed on the work zone drive simulator site where drivers need to safely navigate the construction site. Beware, the police will stop any driver caught speeding.

The site also presents a short “construction worker cam” where a NY highway construction worker explains the dangers she faces every day when tractor-trailers and cars speed through work zones.

NYDOT offers the following work zone safe driving tips:

  • In any work zone along any road expect the unexpected. Watch for changing speed limits and lane shifts.
  • Diamond-shaped orange warning signs are posted in advance of road construction projects. Slow down, stay alert and pay attention.
  • A “flagger ahead” sign may also be posted. Stay alert and obey the flagger’s instructions.
  • Slow down when the signs say to. When you pass a sign at 60 MPH indicating “Road Work 1,500 Feet,” you will be there in 17 seconds.
  • The most common crash in a highway work zone is the rear-end collision. Leave at least two seconds of braking distance between you and the car ahead of you.
  • Keep a safe distance around you and the highway workers, traffic barriers, trucks and construction equipment.

Binghamton drivers should be aware of changes in traffic patterns and slowing or merging traffic that construction signage reports. Most importantly, our car accident attorneys urge drivers to stay alert to other drivers who may be speeding or otherwise distracted when road hazards appear. If you have been injured in a work zone accident, you may have legal rights.

Contact Our Binghamton Injury Law Attorneys Today

Experience counts. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries due to another person’s carelessness or a New York car accident caused by another driver, contact Scott C. Gottlieb, Injury Law Attorney, to help. Our New York personal injury law office handles all types of accident, injury and medical malpractice cases.

As you work on recovering from your injuries, let our Binghamton, New York accident attorney’s office take care of the rest, including the paperwork, insurance documents and other legal issues related to your accident. Contact our personal injury attorney today at (607) 235-2754 or use our online contact form. There is no charge for the consultation.

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