Articles Posted in Construction Accident

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April 4th kicked off the beginning of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation‘s (MASSDOT) enhanced maintenance project of Interstate 93 through Boston.

This maintenance period is going to require complete road closures, which is expected to impact travelers on I-93 inside the O’Neill Tunnels. Traffic flow will be altered for two complete nights of each month. It will be taking place during the 1st Tuesday and the 3rd Tuesday of each month until it’s complete. Closures will be from 11:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. Motorists are urged to plan ahead for these changes and to be cautious to help to avoid a car accident in Boston. With the proper preparation, transportation officials are predicting this transition to progress smoothly.
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During the first Tuesday of each month, the traffic in the southbound lanes will be rerouted to Route 38/Mystic Avenue and then allowed to reenter near South Station. Traffic that’s heading for I-90 Westbound will be taken to the ramp just south of Kneeland Street. With these reroutes, road crews will be able to work on the Zakim Bridge, Lower Deck and O’Neill Tunnel.

Our Boston personal injury lawyers understand that this area of Interstate 93 is heavily traveled. With the rerouting of traffic, we’re asking all motorists to plan ahead and to be cautious. If you can, you’re asked to just avoid the area altogether. If you must travel through these areas during scheduled maintenance, please leave early and allow yourself plenty of time to make it through.

During the third Tuesday of every month, road crews will be working on the I-93 northbound lanes. During that time, traffic will be taken off of the Interstate at Exit 18 (the Mass Ave. exit) and will be taken to Frontage Road. Traffic will be able to get to Interstate 90 (the Logan Airport exit). Traffic getting back on I-93 will be able to continue on Atlantic Avenue and will be able to reenter the Interstate at the exit by TD Garden. Motorists that are heading to Route 1 are to take the ramp in City Square.

Crews will have unrestricted access to center lanes that are challenging to reach with the single and double-lane closures that overnight commuters are accustomed to seeing,” said Frank DePaola, MassDOT Administrator.

To help keep motorists and road crews safe, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts offers these safe driving tips:

-Move over and slow down. Back in 2009, it became law that motorists had to both slow down and move over for stationary emergency or maintenance vehicles with flashing lights. Failure to comply could result in a fine of up to $100.

-Expect the unexpected in a work zone. Speed limits are changed, traffic lanes are altered, people are working near the road and pedestrians may be walking nearby. Be cautious and alert!

-Speed is one of the most common causes of work-zone accidents. Slow down to not only avoid an accident, but to avoid a ticket, too!

-Never tailgate. Rear-end collisions are the number one kind of accidents in work zones.

-Keep an eye out for signs. These signs help to direct traffic and warn of potential dangers.

-Prepare for delays. Allow yourself plenty of time to get through these areas.

-Take another route if you can. Your best bet is to avoid the area all together.

Every year, there are roughly 800 fatal work crashes in U.S. work zones. Let’s all work together to keep Boston’s roadways and road workers out of these statistics.
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Boston recently called upon the Executive Office of Transportation and Public Works (“EOTPW”) and the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) to discuss new standards on how to effectively manage traffic to help reduce Boston construction zone accidents.

The groups will be reviewing the current “MassHighway Work Zone Safety Guidelines for MA Municipalities and Contractors” and “Standard Details & Drawings for the Development of Traffic Management Plans.” Both articles identify different configurations for construction work zones and suggest ways to achieve safe and efficient traffic management setup.
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Our Boston wrongful death lawyers ask you to practice safe driving and abide by the state’s Move Over law, to help keep our motorists, road workers and emergency responders safe on the job. We would also like to remind you that fines are still doubled in Massachusetts even when a construction zone is inactive or shut down, according to Boston.com.

The theme for this year’s National Work Zone Awareness Week theme is ” Safer Driving. Safer Work Zones. For Everyone.” MassDOT will be continuing to keep focus on Work Zone Safety by initialing the new Work Zone Speed Monitoring Program. This new program will be monitoring speeds of vehicles passing through work zones and limited access highways. They will be using electronic field monitoring of speed and volume information in designated work zones.

Car related fatalities continue to be the leading cause of work fatalities. In 2009, Massachusetts suffered 10 fatal work zone car accidents, according to The National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse. The United States suffered nearly 700 fatalities and more than 33,000 injuries in work zones.

MassDOT offers motorists these tips to keep motorists, road workers and emergency responders safe:

-Travel at a safe speed. When you see warning signs, traffic regulations or emergency vehicles make sure to stay alert and proceed at a safe speed.

-Merge as soon as possible. Whether you see road construction or an emergency responder approaching, it is important to merge as quickly as possible to avoid close and potentially dangerous interaction.

-Keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. Altered road conditions can cause surprise maneuvers by other motorists. Keep your reaction time by allowing yourself extra space between you and others on the road.

-Keep a safe distance from construction vehicles, workers and equipment.

-Plan ahead when you know you may encounter road work. Leave early or plan a different route as these conditions can potentially slow your commute.
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It is no secret that motorists caught speeding in a road construction zone face double fines as authorities work to reduce the number of serious and fatal Massachusetts construction accidents in roadwork zones.

But the Boston Globe recently reported on a reader’s surprise to learn that the double fines apply even when workers are not present. The motorist questioned whether there is any viable evidence that construction zones increase the risk of an accident.
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The Globe reported that such data does not exist, largely because determining accidents per-vehicle-mile-traveled (which you would need to do to get an apples-to-apples comparison) is largely impossible because of the shifting nature of roadwork and the task of trying to determine exactly how many miles are under construction at any given time.

Still, statistics suggest motorists driving in construction zones are at high risk, whether or not workers are present. Nationwide, 720 people, mostly motorists, were killed in work zones in 2008. And one study, sponsored by the National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse, found that accidents increased by 88 percent in long-term construction zones around Chicago.

“Many road and bridge construction zones have altered lane configurations, lane shifts, and closures and a number of people working near live traffic,” explained Adam Hurtubise, spokesman for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. “These situations can be unfamiliar to drivers, even those who drive those particular roads regularly.”

And that’s the real crux of the matter when it comes to Massachusetts car accidents. Many of these accidents are caused by driver distraction. In other cases, it is just the variance from the driving norm — stopped traffic in the road, flashing lights, shifting lanes, oncoming traffic sharing the road — that increases the risk for an accident.

We’ve all experienced the crawling sensation of slowing down for a work zone (often from 10 over the speed limit to 10 or 20 mph below the normal limit). But the fact of the matter is that driving faster is just not safe. And driving the work-zone speed limit will get you to your destination much faster, and far more economically, than will being pulled over and cited by law enforcement or being involved in an accident.
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