In warm-weather states like Arizona, it can seem like road construction goes on forever. In fact, where it stays relatively mild year-round, construction crews may not need to stop construction during the winter. While this can result in many roadways being improved at a faster rate, it can also create hazardous driving conditions. Even for those who are paying attention, it can be confusing and nerve-wracking to drive through a work zone. Read also: How people can make accident claims.
Increased fines and penalties for driving unsafely through work zones
In most states, the laws against reckless driving in work zones are especially severe, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. The penalties for speeding and breaking other traffic laws in work zones in Arizona include steep double fines.
This is not only to protect people in the other vehicles sharing the road, but flaggers and other people who are working on the roads. Additionally, criminal charges can be placed on drivers who caused injury or death in a work zone. Read also: Meeting A Car Accident Lawyer.
The Daily Courier reported on the incident of a woman last summer who crashed her pickup truck in a work zone in Prescott. According to police, the woman had a blood alcohol content of nearly three times the legal limit when she hit four other vehicles in the construction zone. Fortunately, workers avoided being hit, but two other drivers received minor injuries.
Common work zone accidents
The Federal Highway Administration says that rear-end crashes are one of the most common types of accidents in work zones. It’s also common to hit traffic cones, barrels or signs. Drivers should take the following precautions to avoid getting into an accident:
- Keep headlights on while driving through a work zone.
- Avoid using cell phones or other distractions, such as playing with the radio.
- Don’t tailgate and obey the speed limit.
- Keep an eye out for brake lights and watch for traffic changes.
- Change lanes only when it’s safe and legal, and merge into the open lane well before a lane closure. Read also: Helping Those Injured In Los Angeles Car Accidents.
Since traffic changes can be unexpected, it’s crucial for drivers to constantly be aware of their surroundings near a work zone.