Home / Blog / Why is it So Dangerous to Speed in a Work Zone?

Work zones present a variety of dangers to motorists and the workers in those construction areas. Extra distractions and dangers associated with construction zone queues account for the majority of the approximately 774 yearly fatalities that occur in work zones in this country.

In response to the dangers of work zones, Indiana launched their Protect the Queue program, which aims at reducing motorists’ speed in work zones.

Speeding in a work zone is unsafe because lines of stopped or slow-moving cars, called queues, occur frequently. Speeding makes it significantly harder for a driver to stop in time when approaching a queue. It also limits their ability to merge safely, resulting in collisions and construction worker deaths.

Speeding in a work zone is against the law, and drivers who do so are considered negligent if they cause an accident. If you or a loved one were injured or someone you love was killed by a speeding driver in a work zone, contact the Indiana car crash attorneys at our law firm. You do not deserve to suffer financially, physically, or emotionally because of a driver’s negligence.

Speeding Reduces Ability to Stop

Worksites require drivers to pay closer attention to the road and react quickly to changing traffic behaviors. The increased likelihood of a queue forming in a work zone means that motorists need to be prepared for sudden stops to avoid accidents. A driver’s ability to stop depends on:

  • The driver’s alertness
  • Weather conditions
  • Speed of the car
  • Conditions of the road
  • Braking characteristics of the car

Speeding increases the distance a driver needs to come to a complete stop, reducing the driver’s ability to brake in time to avoid accidents. When you double your speed—for example, from 20 mph to 40 mph, you will need four times as much breaking distance. Meanwhile, in a two-mile construction zone, reducing vehicle speed from 65 to 45 mph only causes a one-minute delay. For only this slight delay to their commute that most drivers won’t even notice, they will get a 40-meter braking distance advantage.

The statistics on rear-end crashes and fatal driving speeds solidify why speeding is dangerous in work zones. Rear-end crashes are when a car fails to stop in time and hits the vehicle in front of it, and it is the most common kind of work zone crash. Fatal crashes occur most often in work zones where the speed limit is 50 mph or above.

Distracted Driving Also Reduces Braking Time

Small changes in reaction time significantly impact the distance it takes for a vehicle to come to a complete stop, especially when speeding. For instance, a motorist driving at 50 mph who takes .8 seconds to react compared to .4 will travel an extra 10 meters before stopping.

Crashes are common because work zones are full of distractions for drivers, like big machinery and construction workers on the road. Plus, speeding or distracted drivers may run out of time to merge when a lane ends and run off the road, which is very dangerous for workers and other road users. Semi-trucks are another cause for concern, since their braking distance is longer than passenger vehicles because they are so heavy.

Motorists should maintain a safe following distance and pay extra attention to changing traffic conditions.

Injured in a Work Zone Car Accident?

When drivers fail to drive safely and responsibly in work zones, they are acting negligently and are liable for the damages they cause. This means if you sustain an injury because a negligent driver hit you, they must compensate you for your medical bills, lost wages from missed work, and the pain and suffering from your injuries.

Following a car crash, especially in a work zone or with a large truck, it is essential to contact an experienced accident attorney. To prove you deserve financial compensation, you need to collect medical documents, have a copy of your accident’s police report, and carefully communicate with the insurance company, all while recovering from your injuries.

Engaging a skilled car accident attorney can relieve your stress and ensure you’re taking the necessary steps to meet filing deadlines.

Contact Wagner Reese to Learn Your Next Steps

If you were injured by a speeding driver in a work zone, contact Wagner Reese car accident attorneys to begin the process of filing a claim. We can help you get the compensation you deserve after an accident.

Wagner Reese has over 150 years of combined legal experience, so you can rest assured our attorneys have the knowledge and skill needed for your case. Contact us today for a free consultation.