Thousands of construction workers are hard at work, right at this very minute across Indiana, toiling in harsh conditions to keep our roads and highways safe for us. However, they may themselves be at risk from rash and distracted drivers.
Studies indicate that the number of motorists, who think nothing of zipping though construction work zones while talking on their cell phones or texting, is terrifyingly high. In 2017, more than 54 percent of highway work zone accidents involved motorists who had crashed their cars into debris, machinery or construction workers in these zones, indicating that many of them had possibly been distracted while driving.
Several states, including Indiana, now have laws that restrict the use of cell phones while driving. In Indiana, drivers below the age of 21 are prohibited from using cell phones while driving either for texting or talking. However, for other motorists, no such restrictions apply. The only restriction applies to texting while driving, and this is banned for all motorists at the wheel, regardless of age.
You don’t have to be an attorney to understand that those laws are very lax. There is data that shows that far too many motorists are using cell phones while driving with serious consequences.
When it comes to highway construction zone workers, the consequences of distracted driving are even more dangerous. These workers have minimal protection against speeding or rash motorists. A motorist who is preoccupied with a cell phone may not notice workers in the zone until it’s too late. Indiana authorities must consider a ban on motorists using cell phones while driving through construction work zones. The dangers are simply too many, and involve not only the construction workers, but also other motorists.
According to data, more than 650 construction workers have been killed in construction work zone accidents over the past five years. Those workers were among the more than 3,300 people who were killed in construction work zone accidents during the same period of time.
Be extra cautious while driving though a work zone. Switch off your cell phones even if the laws don’t currently require you to do so. A work zone is scattered with construction debris, tools and equipment, not to mention debris that may be scattered around. Being distracted makes it that much more likely that you will hit construction machinery, or even worse, hit pedestrian workers.
Highway construction workers deserve our concern and attention.
If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident, talk to an Indianapolis personal injury lawyer at Montross Miller and discuss filing a claim for compensation. You may qualify for damages that include medical costs, lost wages and pain and suffering.