Whether you have lived in Indiana your entire life or you are new to the Hoosier state (Welcome!), all of us are acutely familiar with the eternal specter that is the orange highway barrel.
In fact, Indiana’s highway and interstate construction is such a part of our daily commuting and driving lives that Indy’s long-time radio jocks Bob & Tom paid comedic tribute to it with a tongue-in-cheek medley titled “Orange Barrels.”
Of course, the immediate concern in all of Indiana’s construction zones is for the highly vulnerable highway workers who are exposed to traffic. There have been a number of tragic incidents that have resulted in the wrongful deaths of Indiana road workers.
That said, what is sometimes lost in the discussion of construction zone safety is the dangers that are also present to everyday drivers and the serious car accidents that can take place in these areas.
However, before examining construction zone risks to Indiana’s drivers, we should first answer the question of why Indiana is plagued with constant road repairs!
Why is there so much Indiana Road Construction?
Interstate construction gets the majority of the attention due to the size of the projects and the daily effects it has on so many people, however, every type of Indiana road requires maintenance and upkeep, including state roads, highways, and rural county roadways.
(For official updates on current road repairs, you can find information about construction, road restrictions, and closures on the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) website.)
With this in mind, no matter the type of Indiana roadway, the majority of state’s much-needed road construction can be attributed to three (3) main factors:
- Weather – We are all familiar with the joke: “If you don’t like Indiana weather, wait five minutes.”
Indiana’s unpredictable seasonality is a big factor in the crumbling of our roadways. This is especially true of our winters. The combination of freeze-thaw damage and a regular barrage of heavy trucks and salt play havoc on our state’s roads. The end results are potholes, chuckholes, and large areas of torn up pavement and concrete surfaces.
- Age – Indiana, along with the rest of the United States, suffers from aging roadways.
Our interstate system and bridges were designed and built decades ago. Quite simply, time has revealed structural weaknesses and the need to replace or repair the infrastructure of our roadways.
- Growth – Indianapolis and surrounding cities continue to see a surge in population. As you can imagine, more people means more cars and travel, which means more stress on our roads.
While there are a number of other man-made and environmental concerns that affect the condition of Indiana’s highways and interstates, it is easy to understand why construction is a constant sight for drivers throughout the state.
Due to the volume of road construction taking place throughout the year and its inevitable presence in your life, safety officials recommend that you familiarize yourself with the potential car accident risks work zones can pose.
Car Accident Risks in Indiana’s Construction Zones
Even the safest of Indiana drivers can succumb to the risks of traveling through a highway or interstate construction zone. As such, Boulton Law Group has represented a number of victims who were injured in single and multi-vehicle accidents while in a work zone.
And now that we have an understanding of “why” Indiana is covered in road construction, it makes sense to examine some common dangers when traveling in an Indiana work zone, including:
As unbelievable as it sounds, we continue to see “excessive speed” listed as the cause of construction zone car accidents.
In fact, a number of our clients have suffered serious injuries because a negligent driver failed to obey work zone speed limits and/or drive in a manner that is safe according to the conditions.
A large number of rear-end car accidents occur in construction zones because drivers are distracted by devices while in stop-and-go construction zone traffic.
(Construction zone or not, please do not text and drive! We see far too many tragic endings to car accidents caused by distracted driving.)
Incorrect or missing construction zone signage
Serious construction zone car accidents have also occurred because the temporary or permanent road signage was improperly maintained by the work crew.
For example, if the work crew fails to use signs that properly warn drivers of an upcoming construction zone, traffic can be caught by surprise leading to a serious collision with other vehicles or workers.
Similarly, we have also witnessed accidents occur because cones or signage directed traffic in a dangerous or incorrect manner.
Negligent construction workers
A majority of construction zone accidents are caused by negligent drivers, however, there are also cases in which a road worker was found to be negligent in an Indiana construction zone.
If road construction crew is found to have improperly operated machinery and/or contributed to a dangerous condition that leads to a car accident, the worker and the company that employs them can be held liable for any damages or personal injury that occurs to the driver(s).
Did Your Car Accident Happen in an Indiana Construction Zone?
If you were injured in a construction zone car accident, it is important to understand that these cases are unlike any other type of automobile collision. There will be a number of unique liability factors as well as state and local laws that affect the outcome of your claim.
For this reason, we strongly encourage you to contact an experienced and trusted Indianapolis personal injury attorney who offers free consultations.
Attorney Matt Boulton has more than 20 years’ experience helping injured Hoosiers, including a number of automobile collisions that occurred in a road construction zone. His successes and reputation for treating clients like family have led him to be a sought after injury attorney by victims and their families throughout the entire state.
Additionally, Boulton Law Group offers all construction zone car accident victims a Zero Fee Guarantee. Our risk-free guarantee helps to ensure that every Hoosier has equal access to award-winning personal injury representation.
To speak to attorney Boulton about your construction zone car accident case, please call direct at 317-350-2680.
Attorney Boulton also personally reviews every website contact received through our website. If you prefer to write to us about your accident, please use our confidential contact form.
We look forward to hearing your story and going to work for you.
Attorney Matt Boulton is an award-winning personal injury attorney with more than 20 years of experience helping seriously injured people throughout Indiana reclaim what was taken from them. His firm was created for for the client who expects exceptional service and passionate, successful legal representation.