Springtime Driving Means Extra Caution Around Road Construction Work Zones
With spring upon us and summer approaching, more people are taking to the roads as the weather allows them to enjoy travel and the outdoors. This is also when construction crews are most active repairing the roads and preparing them for the abuse they will endure in the coming winter months. An accident on I-80 heading eastbound out of Davenport, IA has reminded us of how quickly things can turn south when negligent drivers do not slow down for construction workers. This particular accident has claimed the life of a construction worker who had dedicated more than ten years of his life to the trade.
Fatal Crash is one of a Growing Number of Incidents in Warm Weather
A construction worker was backing a pickup truck onto I-80 when he was struck by a truck driver heading east. The worker was killed and the incident sends an eerie reminder to the many road crew members that dedicate their lives to building and repairing our motorways that life is more fragile than they believe. Dayton Handle, another longtime road crew veteran, recounts how he worries every single day about what may happen on the job.
Drivers are often found ignoring construction signs, speeding and acting recklessly around construction zones. Illinois sees more than 4,800 construction zone accidents every year and most of the drivers involved are either in a hurry or distracted. Slowing down a little doesn’t add as much time to peoples’ travels as they think it would and it could save lives, but they don’t seem to consider or care about these factors.
New Technologies Implemented to Catch Violators
Iowa and Illinois are both adding speed cameras and vans throughout construction zones in an attempt to catch those who disregard the reduced speed limits in these areas. Motorists who are in a hurry to get to their destinations are the leading cause of construction zone accidents and discouraging them from acting in such a reckless manner through fines and other punitive measures may be what is needed to tackle the growing number of accidents the states see each year.
Another cause of construction zone accidents is the use of the shoulder to pass other vehicles. Drivers who are following behind those who have slowed down become impatient and use the shoulder to fly by those who are abiding by the law. Unfortunately, the shoulder is often in use by construction workers and those reckless drivers may collide with equipment or workers when they attempt to make their passing maneuvers.
The State of Illinois has enacted a law that sets the fine for injuring or killing a construction worker at $10,000 and offenders up to 14 years in prison. Drivers who are ticketed for repeat speeding violations in construction zones also see their fines increase to up to $1,000 per incident.
In short, it is becoming much more cost effective to add a few minutes to your travels by slowing down while driving through construction zones. Choosing to speed or drive recklessly could cost you a lot of money and your freedom, so consider the lives of those who are working to provide you with access to the roads that get you where you need to be.