What to Know About Car Accidents in MA Work Zones

Work zones can be a source of frustration for drivers in Massachusetts. The lanes in these areas are often narrow, and there might be restrictions on the number of cars that can pass at a time.

Work zones are essential for the repair and maintenance of roads. Workers carry out critical repairs in these areas, and barriers and signs are put in place to protect them and their equipment. However, these same restrictions can make it challenging for drivers to navigate through the work zone safely, increasing the risk of accidents. Determining who is responsible for an accident in a work zone can be difficult, as several parties, including the construction company, can be held liable for such incidents.

For a free case evaluation with our Massachusetts personal injury lawyers, call the Law Office of John J. Sheehan today at (617) 925-6407.

What Should I Know About Car Accidents in Massachusetts’ Work Zones?

Navigating through work zones in Massachusetts can be confusing due to the changes in traffic patterns. These changes can include a narrower roadway that accommodates more cars, more frequent stops, or an exit that has been relocated. Traffic might also be re-routed onto side streets that are not designed to handle heavy traffic. There might also be inadequate barriers between workers and oncoming traffic. Workers might have to operate behind cones, flimsy fences, or lines painted on the road, which can be difficult to see in the dark.

Even if drivers follow the speed limit, navigating through the construction zone can be challenging and congested. Drivers might have to maneuver around maintenance vehicles, obstructions, and new signage. If a driver is distracted, speeding, or driving recklessly, it can quickly lead to a collision.

Thus, work zones in Massachusetts are some of the most dangerous places for drivers to be. When an accident occurs in a work zone, it can be difficult to determine who is responsible for the damages. Fortunately, our Worchester car accident attorneys have the experience necessary to help you recover the compensation you are entitled to. While another driver might have caused your injuries, it is possible that the construction company in charge of the work zone contributed to causing the accident. This means that multiple parties could be sued following a car accident in a work zone.

How Other Drivers Typically Cause Car Accidents in Massachusetts’ Work Zones

When driving through work zones, it is crucial for drivers to remain vigilant and focused on the road. This is especially important as they navigate through the altered lanes created by ongoing road work. If a driver’s lack of attention leads to a serious accident in a work zone, they might be held responsible for their negligence.


Work zones often have lower speed limits than the surrounding roads. If a driver exceeds the work zone speed limit, they might find it difficult to navigate through narrow lanes and tight spaces, which can greatly increase the chances of an accident. Additionally, speeding in work zones might result in more serious penalties than speeding on other parts of the road.

Distracted Driving

Every year, approximately 2,800 people lose their lives, and hundreds of thousands of others suffer injuries due to distracted driving. This problem is even more severe in construction zones, where distracted driving can have more disastrous consequences. When drivers are not paying attention, they might not see what is happening around them, especially if a construction worker is too close to an intangible barrier that provides little protection against a speeding vehicle. Additionally, distraction can result in rear-end collisions when other drivers slow down to navigate through the construction zone safely. Just like in other areas, distracted drivers can be held responsible for accidents caused by their negligence in construction zones as well.

Failure to Follow Wok Zone Signs and Directions

Construction zones often feature clear signals that help direct drivers through the changing lanes that result from the construction work. These signals might come in the form of flashing lights, directional signs, or road signs that provide instructions intended to guide drivers and alert them about any upcoming challenges. Despite the presence of these signals, some drivers choose to ignore them completely. They might speed through construction areas without reducing their speed or drive in areas that are blocked off by construction traffic cones or other signs. When drivers move outside the designated area, this can significantly increase the risk of an accident.

Can a Construction Company Be Held Liable for a Car Accident in a Work Zone in Massachusetts?

When driving through road work zones, drivers are typically accountable for any careless actions they take while behind the wheel. However, there are instances where a driver might have taken all necessary precautions yet still get involved in an accident. Road construction companies have a duty to ensure the safety of drivers who use those roads to reach their destinations. If the construction company fails to meet this duty, it might be held responsible for any accidents that occur in the work zone.

Accidents Caused by Construction Company-Owned Vehicles or Equipment

While driving on the road, it is not always the driver of a passenger vehicle who veers out of their assigned lane. Sometimes, a construction vehicle or heavy equipment might suddenly appear from behind the barrier, causing severe harm to both the construction worker and the driver. In such cases, if the accident was caused by an error on the part of the construction worker, the construction company might be held liable.

Lack of Adequate Signs

When driving through a construction zone, it is crucial to have clear signs, lane markers, and barriers to guide you. However, some construction companies do not provide adequate signage for their work zones, which can be dangerous for drivers. If workers fail to put up the necessary signs to ensure safe passage, the company might be held liable for any accidents caused by the lack of signage.

Use of Excess Lights

Construction companies often carry out work on busy streets during the night to minimize disruption to traffic during peak hours. To improve visibility, they might install large spotlights that can illuminate the area as brightly as daylight. However, if the workers place these lights in the wrong position, they can inadvertently shine into the eyes of drivers on the road, causing temporary blindness and making it extremely difficult for them to drive safely.

Dangerous Hazards Left on the Road

Construction companies have a responsibility to maintain their work sites and keep track of their equipment and debris. Unfortunately, some companies fail to do so, which can result in construction debris finding its way onto the road and causing serious hazards for drivers. These hazards often lead to accidents that result in serious injury. In such cases, the construction company responsible for the site might be held liable for their failure to properly maintain the work site and prevent debris from causing accidents on the road.

Confusing Instructions and Work Zone Design

Construction companies can also be held responsible not only for direct acts of negligence that result in severe accidents but also for failing to provi de clear instructions and designations for drivers to navigate the construction zone safely. This includes indicating which lanes are available for use and which areas are blocked off.

Our Massachusetts Car Accident Lawyers Can Help

Call the Law Office of John J. Sheehan at (617) 925-6407 for a free case review with our Boston car accident attorneys.