There’s a saying that there are two seasons: winter and construction. That’s a bit of an exaggeration, but there are a lot of highway construction projects taking place this year. Worker safety is a major concern in construction zones.
But workers are not the only people in danger in a highway construction zone. Did you know that four out of five work zone fatalities are drivers or their passengers? Staying focused on the road and obeying the speed limit is essential to your safety and the safety of those around you.
The Federal Highway Administration is raising awareness during the week of April 8-12 with their 2019 National Work Zone Awareness Week theme: “Drive Like You Work Here.” Work zone safety requires everyone to stay alert and prepared for sudden changes.
Indiana Work Zone Safety
The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) understands that driving through highway work zones can be frustrating. It works to reduce risk for both workers and motorists through careful scheduling and construction management. Employees and contractors often work off-peak and night hours to help ease congestion that is caused by highway construction and maintenance work.
INDOT uses message boards on the road, media, social media, and the INDOT TrafficWise website as well as the INDOT Real-Time Traffic Conditions website to provide information to drivers about work zones. INDOT workers wear high visibility safety apparel in addition to protective equipment on all INDOT projects.
More than 14 individuals were killed and over 400 were injured in INDOT work zones in 2014. The most common causes of collision were following too closely, unsafe speed, driver inattention, unsafe lane movement, ran off roadway, improper lane change, failure to yield right-of-way, and ran over object in roadway. INDOT notes that areas where traffic is entering or leaving a work zone is often more dangerous due to drivers changing lanes and merging.
Safer Driving in Work Zones
When driving in a work zone, expect the unexpected. Be prepared for changes to the work zone or traffic flow. Avoid distracted driving and keep your hands on the wheel. Watch for highway workers, speed limit changes, changing traffic patterns, and narrowing lanes. Respect posted speed limits and keep a safe distance on all sides of your vehicle while maintain a safe following distance. Rear-end crashes are the most common type of work zone vehicle accidents.
Indiana’s Work Zone Safety Law was put into place to help prevent work zone injuries. It sets major penalties for driving infractions within Indiana highway work zones. Always obey posted regulations in a work zone. They are there for your safety!
With over 40 years of experience, John Schuerman is a compassionate advocate for injury victims and their families while being an aggressive fighter for justice and full compensation for their claims. If you or a loved one have suffered an injury from an automobile accident, call 1-800-274-0045 today for a free consultation. Evening and weekend appointments are available in addition to home and hospital visits.