For Orlando residents who commute on Interstate 4 Ultimate, construction-related traffic jams may be the least of their concerns. Dozens of drivers claim their vehicles were damaged by the construction project since its start in February 2015. The rough condition of I-4 Ultimate during the project has caused damage to multiple vehicles, but it may be putting drivers at risk of a more serious issue: car wrecks.
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The Florida Department of Transportation has paid out nearly $15,000 in claims after a number of car damages occurred as a result of the shoddy condition of the road, including tire and rim damage, damage as a result of flooding, and other claims.
In one of the most shocking instances of potential negligence, a construction crew dropped concrete onto a vehicle.
But even more expensive than the cost of minor car repairs are the resultant bills that could occur after a serious car accident. And for Orlando residents who take the I-4 regularly, this is a serious concern. The rate of multi-car wrecks along I-4 Ultimate has shot up since the start of construction, and in March alone, 35 people died and 320 people were injured, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
These accidents can be attributed to the high density of traffic found on I-4, and the fact that people are following each other too closely and speeding, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. The potholes and debris found on the I-4 only worsens this issues.
So how can drivers avoid damaging their car — or worse yet, getting into an accident — while navigating the treacherous road conditions of the I-4 Ultimate construction zone? Here are some things to consider.
What Should I Look Out For on I-4?
The road hazards that have caused the most damage to cars traveling through the I-4 Ultimate construction zone include:
- Flooded Ramps
- Uneven Pavement
How Can I Avoid Damaging My Car?
Along with avoiding the above mentioned road hazards, motorists should adapt a more cautious driving style when traveling along a construction zone.
Reduce your speed when driving through a construction zone, recommends the Federal Highway Administration.
This will not only give you more time to react to any debris or rough conditions on the road, but it will keep construction workers who may just been feet away from moving truck safe. In fact, most construction zones have increased fines for moving traffic violations, so it’s best to drive slowly.
Leave a Safe Distance between Vehicles
Don’t follow the vehicle ahead of you too closely, as they may need to brake suddenly to avoid debris, potholes, or hitting a construction worker. Leave a safe distance between your car and the car ahead of you and be prepared to brake quickly.
Above all else, have patience when traveling through a construction zone. While it can be frustrating to be held up in construction traffic, staying alert and avoiding the temptation to speed or tailgate can make all the difference between an avoided accident and a huge repair bill.
What Do I Do if I Damaged My Car on I-4?
If you believe you’ve damaged your car due to poor conditions caused by the I-4 Ultimate construction zone, be sure to take photos of the damage.
Note the date, time, and location where the damage to your car occurred, as recommended by FDOT.
While car accidents are more likely to occur around a major construction zone like the I-4 Ultimate, they can happen anywhere. If you’ve been hurt in a car accident, our attorneys may be able to help. Read more to learn how our car accident attorneys in Orlandocan navigate Florida’s complex insurance laws and help fight for the compensation you deserve.