What you’ll learn reading this article:
- There are several common causes of work zone accidents in Indiana, and depending on which factor contributed to a crash, one or more parties may be liable.
- There is an increased likelihood of accidents in work zones due to a number of factors ranging from the construction itself to distracted drivers.
- Both workers and vehicle passengers and drivers are at a risk for injury or death from a work zone related crash.
Construction on roadways, particularly highways, is an essential aspect of maintaining safe and navigable roads, as over time the roads can become damaged due to weather and time or may need to be reimagined to better address a city or state’s needs. The delays and inconvenience such construction causes can be understandably frustrating, but it is essential for drivers traveling through work zones to follow safety precautions.
The likelihood of injury or death from a crash in a work zone is high, particularly on highway projects, where slow downs can appear suddenly and unexpectedly. Nationally, work zone crashes have increased steadily since 2013, while work zone fatalities have increased 29% since 2010.
What Causes a Work Zone Accident?
According to Indiana police data, some of the most common causes for INDOT work zone accidents are the following:
- Tailgating or failing to leave enough room between vehicles
- Changing lanes unsafely or without properly signaling
- Failing to yield or give others the right-of-way
- Objects or debris in the roadway
- Driver inattentiveness or distracted driving
The Indiana Work Zone Safety Law exists with steep penalties to discourage reckless driving in Indiana work zones. For instance, for speeding in a work zone, a first time offender receives a fine of $300, which increases to $500 and $1,000 with each subsequent offense within a three year period. Additional unsafe driving practices within a work zone can result in steeper fines and other penalties.
However, sometimes the driver is not the one at fault for the accident. Other common causes of accidents in work zones are:
- Improper or poorly marked signage
- Improperly narrowed lanes
- Improperly established transition zones for speed and lane changes
- Improperly parked equipment kept too close to the roadway
If a government agency is at all involved in the accident, there may be a short timeline in which to file a claim, so contacting a lawyer as soon as possible is your best bet to receive the compensation you deserve.
What Types of Accidents Commonly Occur in a Work Zone?
The most common types of accidents in Indianapolis construction zones are
- Rear-end crashes
- Sideswipes of vehicles moving in the same direction
- Head-on crashes
- Vehicles departing the roadway
Such accidents can result in serious injuries and even death. For this reason, it is important that all drivers who travel through construction work zones, whether on the highway or city streets, are aware of the best practices for entering and exiting these zones.
How Can I Prevent a Work Zone Accident?
Here are some of the top tips that the Indiana Department of Transportation suggests for safely navigating a work zone:
- Anytime you are driving on the interstate, be prepared to stop and stay focused on the road ahead of you so you can quickly and easily spot construction signs or slow downs.
- Just because you have entered a work zone and are moving slowly (or are perhaps stopped), this does not mean you can text or fiddle with your phone or devices; you should keep your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel at all times.
- Be aware of highway workers and flaggers and leave plenty of space between them and your vehicle.
- Trust and respect posted speeds, even if you don’t see flaggers or construction equipment, and especially if you do. Construction zones are designed with drivers in mind and meant to limit inconvenience as best as possible.
- If possible, select an alternate route or detour to avoid the work zone altogether; if you must travel through the work zone, expect some delays and remain calm.
Remember, even if you are a safe and dedicated driver, there may be circumstances outside of your control that cause you to be involved in a work zone accident. Contacting an Indianapolis personal injury attorney is an important step to take if you’ve been involved in a work zone accident.
Poynter & Bucheri Accident Recovery—Indianapolis Personal Injury Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been injured physically or mentally by a person, product or company, you need to know your legal rights. Our personal injury attorneys are experienced with cases like yours and can evaluate what your case may be worth. We will ensure that you are protected and compensated for your injuries and losses. Why pay up to 40% in attorney fees? Our fee is only 25%* and we fight to win your case or you pay no attorney fees at all.
Don’t hesitate—one of our experienced attorneys can assist you right away. Call (800) 265-9881 for a free case review.