Warning to Labor Day Drivers: Watch Out for the Orange Cones and Crews!

If you’re one of the millions of drivers around the nation expected to hit the roads this Labor Day weekend, be careful. Illinois car accident lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm urge drivers to be especially cautious around road construction zones, where accidents are likely to happen.

Far too often, road construction zones can turn into deadly zones for drivers and their passengers. In Illinois, more than 700 people were injured in a traffic crash over the 2011 Labor Day Weekend. Nearly 10 people were killed. Road construction zones are extremely dangerous because of the heavy construction equipment and large signs that are present. Traffic is often backed up near these areas, which can block the views of drivers and put road crews at risk.

Two of the biggest factors that contribute to work zone accidents are speed and inattentive driving. In order to reduce the number of car accidents in construction zones across the state this year, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) launched the “Embrace the Orange Campaign,” which urges drivers to slow down, be alert, and stay within construction zone speed limits. Illinois drivers are also banned from using cell-phones and other handheld devices while driving through a work zone. State Police will be using photo speed enforcement vans to enforce the rules.

The price of violating a work zone safety rule is high. Speeding fines start around $400 and even larger fines or prison time may be in store for drivers that hit construction workers. Even more importantly, a work zone traffic accident may also cost someone their life. Motorists, road crews, and even work zone pedestrians are all at risk of injuries and fatalities. It is important that drivers do all they can to prevent serious or fatal injuries.

To help motorists stay safe this holiday weekend, Illinois transportation officials will be suspending all non-emergency road work possible. A list of lane closures is available on the IDOT website. These closures will begin August 31 at 3 p.m. and run through midnight on September 4. Drivers also need to remember that they must always abide by posted work zone speed limits, even where they do not see construction workers present.

Illinois is not the only state cracking down on work zone safety. According to the San Jose Mercury News, state officials in California are warning drivers to use extra safety precautions to avoid accidents. In the last month alone, at least six road workers and drivers have lost their lives in highway construction zone accidents. Public safety announcements and electronic signs are just a couple of ways drivers will be reminded of the state’s “Move Over, Slow Down” law.

California is also testing a new safety device, removable rumble strips in areas where crews are working. State officials hope these strips will help slow traffic down and prevent tragic accidents. Despite steep gas prices, roads in California and around the nation are still expected to be heavily traveled this weekend and the potential for accidents is high.

When car accidents happen, steep financial consequences and serious personal injuries can result. An experienced Chicago car crash lawyer can help you recover maximum compensation. Unfortunately, even when the utmost safety precautions are taken, traffic accidents can still happen. It is important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible if you or a loved one are involved in a serious car crash in order to fully protect your legal rights.

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