In past blogs, Boulton Law Group has examined the dangers Indiana drivers face when entering or traveling through road construction, however, an equal or far greater danger exists for Hoosier road workers.
It is fair to say that our road workers are the most vulnerable people on Indiana’s roadways. Depending on the layout of a construction zone, Indiana’s road workers may have no more than an orange cone separating them from the flow of highway or interstate traffic.
For that reason, a micro-second of inattentiveness on the part of a driver can result in traumatic injuries to a road worker and/or loss of life.
Having investigated and worked on a number of construction-related accidents involving Indiana’s road workers, we have put together a list of factors that increase the risks of serious injury to Hoosiers who repair and maintain our highways and interstates.
Construction Workers Continue to Face Highway & Interstate Dangers
Despite reduced speeds, safety barriers, and warning signs announcing “Construction Zone Ahead,” stories of highway workers being killed or seriously injured continue to make headline news throughout the country, including our home state of Indiana.
According to National Workzone Safety’s Information Clearinghouse, the U.S. saw 128 road workers killed in construction zone accidents during 2018, with the previous 3-year average totaling 135 fatal accidents involving road workers.
Specifically, Indiana accounted for 8 of the 2018 deaths, with a previous 3-year average of 6 fatal accidents involving Hoosier road workers.
These numbers are unacceptable, and it begs the question: What can be done to protect the lives of our road construction workers?
In most instances, it comes down to drivers applying common sense, as road worker deaths are typically caused by the usual suspects:
- Inebriated drivers who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Drivers distracted by their phones, in-dash screens, radio, passengers, etc.
- Drivers who speed in construction zones.
- Drivers who ignore construction zone signs, warnings, traffic reconfiguration, etc.
- Drivers leaving the roadway.
Committing any of the above-listed offenses jeopardizes your safety as well as the lives and health of Indiana’s road workers and fellow drivers.
With the understanding that road workers are incredibly vulnerable, drivers MUST exercise extreme caution in and around construction zones. This includes being prepared to enter a live construction zone no matter the time of day or night, as many times road work starts or continues after the sun has gone down.
Why Night-Time Construction?
With a number of road work accidents occurring during the evening hours, some people may be curious as to why Indiana and other states resort to nighttime construction when repairing or fixing roadways.
The immediate benefit of nighttime construction is the reduction in roadway activity that is primarily associated with daytime driving hours. And less traffic leads to a number of other nighttime advantages, including:
- Reduces the negative impact on traffic and motorists who might otherwise face daytime delays.
- Decreases the chances of an accident between vehicles and/or road workers.
- More flexibility for road workers and crews to complete jobs.
- Workers face a decreased exposure to motor vehicle emissions.
- Cooler temperatures for workers.
- Less environmental pollution from idling vehicles that are stopped or waiting in construction zone areas.
Anyone who has driven through a construction zone during nighttime hours is familiar with the large industrial lights, electronic signs, flashing/blinking barrel lights, and other safety measures. However, nothing will ever allow road workers to be fully immune to the dangers associated with their jobs, whether it be during the day or evening.
As supported by this weekend’s accident, it can also be said that road workers may face increased instances of dangers involving drivers who are speeding and/or under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Fines and/or Jail Time for Reckless Driving in a Construction Zone
Most of us have seen the road signs that spell out penalties if a driver’s recklessness results in injury or loss of life for a road worker. The dollar amounts and potential jail time on those signs should be taken very seriously.
In fact, Indiana drivers who fail to follow safety tips and work zone rules are subject to more serious consequences than if they were involved in an accident in a non-construction-related collision, including:
- First-time speeding offense: $300 fine.
- Second-time speeding offense: $500 fine.
- Third-time speeding offense: $1,000 fine.
- Reckless driving in a construction zone: $5,000 fine.
- Injuring a road worker or causing loss of life: up to $10,000 and up to 6 years in jail.
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in a construction zone incident, we recommend that you request a free consultation with an experienced Indianapolis personal injury attorney. They can help advise you of your legal rights as well as perform an independent investigation on your behalf.
Boulton Law Group Supports Indiana’s Road Construction Workers
For over 20 years, attorney Matt Boulton has committed himself to help Hoosiers who were injured through no fault of their own.
During his time as an Indianapolis personal injury attorney, he has witnessed and counseled a number of victims who were involved in accidents that occurred in an Indiana construction zone.
Boulton Law Group offers all road workers and their families a Zero Fee Guarantee. This promise helps to ensure that all of Indiana’s road workers and their families have access to award-winning legal representation.
If you have questions for attorney Boulton, please can call him direct at 317-350-2680.
If you prefer to write to us with the details of your incident, you can use our confidential contact form. Attorney Boulton personally reviews every web contact sent to our firm.
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.