If you’re taking a family road trip this summer, the odds are slim that you won’t pass through at least one construction zone with lane closures, uneven pavement, barriers in place of shoulders, and of course, workers doing their job.
All of the foregoing and many more road conditions that are the result of construction present heightened risks for both drivers and those working on the roads. Fatalities in highway construction and maintenance work zones averaged 778 from 1994 through 1999, 1060 from 2000 through 2006, and 669 from 2007 through 2012. In Indiana, 13 people were killed and more than 300 injured in highway work zones in 2013.
In attempts to reduce these numbers, Indiana, like every other state, imposes steep penalties and fines for driving infractions in highway work zones. Drivers who injure or kill a highway worker, for example, could serve up to eight years in jail and pay $10,000 in fines.
The most common causes of construction zone accidents are speeding, tailgating, disregarding signs and signals, inattentive driving, and improper or reckless merging. The Indiana Department of Transportation has a number of tips for driving safely in work zones, including:
- Don’t text, talk or adjust controls
- Expect the unexpected such as significantly reduced speed limits, changed or merged lanes, and uneven pavement
- Slow down and observe work zone speed limits
- Don’t tailgate
- Keep a safe distance between your Vehicle, highway workers and their equipment
- Keep up with traffic
- Pay attention to signs
- Obey road crew flaggers
- Schedule enough time to drive safely
- Be Patient and Stay Calm
Slow traffic and delays due to highway construction can definitely be frustrating, but failing to adhere to common sense and posted safety rules could be tragic.
The Indianapolis Personal Injury Lawyers at Hovde Dassow + Deets Are Ready to Help
Hovde Dassow + Deets, the preeminent personal injury law firm in Indianapolis, understands the challenges, pain, and suffering that accident victims face and the firm’s lawyers work tirelessly to get them the compensation they deserve. Contact Hovde Dassow + Deets today at (317) 818-3100 or toll-free at (888) 404-6833 for a free, initial, and confidential consultation to discuss your case.
This article has been prepared by Hovde Dassow + Deets for informational purposes only and does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.