When the winter months roll around that means road construction work begins to wind down for the season. However, it seems that even though road work is decreasing, construction zone worker injuries are rising. No, Muncie does not have the extreme road construction that Interstate 69 is plagued with, but Muncie does have the occasional construction zone that affects traffic. At the end of last year, Indiana Public Radio reported that over the past five years, construction zone crashes in Indiana have almost doubled, but there is hope as industry leaders in construction say they might have found a solution to keep their workers safe: temporary road shutdowns.
Driving Tips in Muncie Road Construction Zones
For large repairs like those done on Interstate 465 last year, temporary road closures make sense. The safety of the workers was put at number one priority, and the state of Indiana ended up saving 30 to 40 percent of the initial budget for the project. Yes, there was inconvenience for those of the Muncie community who travel to Indianapolis and the surrounding area for work, but ultimately, the safety of the workers was ensured, making the project a success.
Yet, to do something similar here in Muncie, where the road construction is on a smaller scale, might not be feasible. Therefore, if roads remain open while construction happens, be cautious of fellow Muncie employees who are working in a less-than-ideal environment:
- Do not follow too closely. Pay attention to the unexpected by not driving distracted and keeping a safe distance on all sides of the vehicle. Try to move over as far as possible when passing workers in the next lane.
- Watch for traffic patterns. At each phase of construction, the traffic patterns may be different. Slow down and do not take turns or shift lanes too fast with a new or unfamiliar traffic pattern.
- Pay attention to construction signage. There are not always flaggers at all the construction projects around Muncie. Some projects might be small enough where there is only one sign. Be on the lookout to identify where the work is taking place and if you can proceed without a flagger waving you through or if other signs instruct otherwise.
- Be patient and stay calm. Some road projects happen unexpectedly; therefore, do not become angry or try to speed your way through a work zone. If avoidable, pick a different route, but most importantly, remember to be patient because someone’s life is at risk.
Motorists and Employers Are Responsible for Workers’ Safety
Along with things that drivers can do to minimize their part in Muncie construction zone accidents, there are also things that employers can do, too:
- Have an effective and efficient work zone layout
- Mandate the use of traffic signage
- Warn motorists with plenty of time of work zone construction
- Use flaggers to facilitate traffic flow
- Provide workers with high-visibility apparel
- Install temporary lighting for night work and proper vision
- Design internal traffic plans for large jobs to control entering and exiting the work zone
- Maintain work site accountability within chain of command
- Have proper equipment and maintenance checks
- Provide training and certification for machinery
Contact a Muncie Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Employers along with motorists have the responsibility to keep Muncie employees safe who are working to keep our roads in good condition. If you find yourself injured from a work-related injury from a road construction site, contact the attorneys at Hensley Legal Group. Call or contact us online for your free consultation to find out your best course of action in your case.