Summer always brings increased road work as most municipalities take advantage of the weather and reduced commuting traffic to maintain and upgrade our Nation’s roadways. Once complete, we will likely appreciate the extra lanes or more comfortable ride the road work provides. However, during the road work, the changes to traffic patterns, narrowed lanes, barricades, slowing traffic, slow and merging trucks, and other construction can create dangerous circumstances that can lead to traffic accidents and fatalities.
NHTSA Work Zone Accident Statistics
In 2020, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported over 100,000 work zone accidents that resulted in over 44,000 injuries and 857 fatalities. Driver distraction was a large factor with 20% of work zone crashes resulting in rear-end collisions. Not surprisingly, speeding was a factor 37% of the time and 27% of the accidents involved a commercial vehicle.
Safety Tips for the Driver
The Federal Highway Administration offers the following safety tips to help save lives and to reduce work zone crashes.
Eliminate Distractions – Distracted driving is dangerous and sometimes illegal. Don’t use your cellphone unless it is hands free, but certainly wait to make the call until the roads are clear. While in a work zone, be sure to avoid other distractions such as looking at the navigation, changing the radio, and eating.
Remain Alert – Avoid drowsy driving and take a break or have a cup of coffee if necessary.
Pay Attention to the Road – Read and follow all road signs and watch for brake lights on vehicles ahead. Also keep an eye on the vehicles around you and be ready to react to their driving. Be aware that work vehicles, workers, or work equipment may enter your lane without warning.
Merge into the Proper Lane – merge before you reach the lane closure and recognize that lane adjustments can happen daily. Also, change lanes only where the pavement markings indicate and only when traffic conditions permit.
Follow Instructions – If there are flaggers, be sure to follow their instruction and be respectful of their directions.
Obey Speed Limit – Often speed limits are reduced significantly in work zones, especially when there are lane reductions, shifting, and narrowing. Further, fines for moving violations are often doubled in work zones. Be prepared to slow down depending on driving conditions.
Be prepared – Check traffic on the radio or online to better anticipate current road conditions. Be prepared for delays by leaving early or by planning an alternate route.
Contact Bear Law
If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident, you can count on an experienced personal injury lawyer at Bear Law to fight for your right to fair compensation for your injuries.