Construction on a stretch of Highway 401 has led to 61 car accidents between April and July. Twenty-eight of those collisions involved commercial tractor trailers.
With three months remaining for this year’s construction season (April through October), the accident-riddled stretch of highway is poised to outpace 2016 collision numbers. Last year, there was a total of 88 motor vehicle accidents, including 29 involving commercial tractor trailers.
The shocking 14-per cent increase this year has Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) concerned and reminding motorists of important safety tips for traveling in construction zones. Specifically, they are warning motorists to slow down and stay focused on the road.
According to OPP, the construction zone is 40 kilometers in length between Scane Road and County Road 42 in Chatham-Kent. The highly-traveled stretch of highway sees approximately 30 to 50 thousand vehicles a day.
When motorists enter the construction zone, traffic is reduced to a single lane for approximately 12 kilometers. Traffic then opens to two lanes for approximately 10 kilometers before funneling back into one lane.
OPP spokesman Const. Jay Denorer notes that in the short distance in which there are two lanes, motorists are racing to try to get to the front, often moving quickly in and out of lanes and cutting off other vehicles. That dangerous behavior increases the risk for collisions.
Driver Actions Driving Collisions
According to Denorer, OPP officers regularly see people engaging in behaviors while behind the wheel that increase the risk of being involved in an accident, such as:
- Distracted driving
- Following too closely
- Texting and driving
- Cutting off other vehicles
- Aggressive driving
These actions have led to several serious accidents in the construction zone this summer:
- July 28: A collision involving five tractor trailers shutdown Highway 401 at Merlin Road for several hours. According to reports, a tractor trailer stopped on the highway for slow-moving traffic. A second truck failed to stop in time, causing it to crash into the back of the first truck. Three other trucks were also involved.
- July 30: A six-car collision on Highway 401 near Dillon Road led to two deaths after a tractor trailer crashed into five cars stopped in traffic for another crash.
- Aug. 10: Another five-car collision involving three tractor trailers occurred when a tractor trailer crashed into the back of a stopped truck, which caused it to also collide with another truck stopped in front of it. Two additional vehicles struck the back of the rear tractor trailer.
OPP is reminding motorists to pay attention, slow down and leave plenty of space when they stop behind other vehicles. Motorists should give themselves plenty of time to travel through the construction zone and not get into a rush.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer
When motorists are negligent in dangerous driving situations such as construction zones, they can be held liable for any injuries or damages that result from a collision. Our Windsor car accident lawyers can help you determine your legal options for holding a negligent driver accountable for his or her actions.
Contact us today to schedule a free, no obligation consultation to learn more. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means we do not charge you for our services unless we recover compensation for you.