Utah summers are accompanied by increased construction because the days are warmer and it is light longer. These conditions are more conducive to building roads and freeways. As we prepare for another summer with high levels of construction throughout the state, the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) honored the construction projects on Tuesday for National Work Zone Awareness Week. UDOT wanted to remind drivers to be safe.
It is crucial to recognize a construction site when you see one and also to note, as UDOT Executive Director pointed out, “They’re changing all the time.” 2News reported on their website that UDOT urges drivers to put down distractions and pay attention to the road. Always drive slow through a construction site. Braceras said, “We want everyone to go home safely. . . These people work long, hard hours and they are working for us–the citizens of the state of Utah. So, let’s please give them a break out there.”
Unfortunately, crashes through constructions zones are a common occurrence in Utah. 2017 saw a reported 2,400 crashes in designated work zones. Ten of these cases were deadly. This number is slowly improving. In 2014, there were a recorded 21 deaths in construction zones. The reason fines are doubled in these areas is to help protect workers. A car traveling full speed on the freeway is dangerous for workers who are trying to improve our roads. In 2017, Utah Highway Patrol issued over 1,500 citations. The hope is that these tickets will serve as a deterrent for people’s driving at excessive speeds through these areas.
Work zone crashes aren’t just a problem in Utah, but across the United States. A freeway work zone is dangerous for both drivers who have to navigate a complex maze of signs, barrels, and lane shifts, as well as for workers who are building, repairing, and maintaining the roads. According to the Work Zone Management Program, headed by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration, in 2015, a work zone crash happened every 5.4 minutes. Similarly, each week 12 work zone crashes occurred resulted in one death. The problem has become so pronounced that the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has analyzed the data on worker fatalities and created a checklist that people can use to prevent worker injuries from vehicles.
Here at The Advocates Law, we heartily endorse appropriate measures to keep people safe. Like UDOT, we remind our readers always to obey the slower speed limits in construction zones, not because you don’t want to receive a ticket but for your safety and the safety of those working on the road. It is unlikely that you will not be found at-fault if you are recklessly speeding through a construction zone.
Any accident can be a challenge for everyone involved. For all of your car accident questions, or questions specifically regarding this article, contact The Advocates Law Firm. We will help you better understand what you can do next. We offer free consultations so many of your questions can be answered in your consultation, free of charge.