Automobile accidents in work zones are a common cause of traffic fatalities and their prevalence highlights the importance of adhering to posted signs and motor vehicle laws. Each day, it is estimated that three lives are lost in work zone accidents. Many of these fatal accidents are preventable and boil down to drivers not paying attention or following the law. This year, April 8th to April 12th was designated as “National Work one Awareness Week.” The significant number of accidents in work zones in the United States highlights the importance of educating the public on how to avoid the dangers that arise when transiting work zones.
Preventing Accidents in Work Zones
Motorists can reduce their risk of an accident by buckling up and paying close attention to the road at all times. Reducing speed and avoiding distractions while going through work zones is critical. Drivers should remain alert to activity in the area and avoid changing lanes until they have safely exited the work zone. Most road construction zones are designated as “no passing zones” and drivers can receive citations for changing lanes.
Drivers should closely monitor the movement of equipment, road construction or maintenance workers, and the actions of other motorists or pedestrians in the road. This need for increased focus highlights the importance of avoiding distractions while transiting a road construction zone. As spring progresses, motorists throughout Nevada can expect to see road construction activity increase which will increase their risk of having a motor vehicle accident within these zones.
NDOT Working to Keep Workers Safe
The Nevada Department of Transportation is doing its part to keep workers safe. They have enhanced training for road crews and invested in protective barriers, warning signs, lane closure alerts, and additional flaggers that can help minimize the potential for contact between workers and traffic. Drivers can also receive text descriptions and maps of current road construction projects so that they can avoid road work altogether. The best way to eliminate the risk of an accident in a work zone is to utilize alternative routes until the work is completed.
Traffic Penalties in Work Zones
Nevada Statute 484.3667 allows law enforcement to levy significant penalties for traffic violations within work zones. These include double the penalty for speeding which can lead to a fine of up to $1,000.