Indiana Personal Injury Attorney Echoes Governor's Call for Safe Driving in Highway Work Zones

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Mike Stephenson, a partner with McNeely Stephenson of Indianapolis, said today work zone safety is the responsibility of motorists as well as highway departments and law enforcement.

Indiana Attorney Mike Stephenson

I wouldn't be surprised if almost every highway within our borders needs some sort of resurfacing or improvement, and that means drivers should be anticipating the sight of lots of orange barrels and cones, barriers and signage.

With Indiana road crews out in force repairing highways ravaged by winter weather and constructing new and improved byways, the week of March 23-27, 2015, has been declared by Governor Mike Pence to be Work Zone Awareness Week across the state.

"There are nearly 30,000 miles of roadways in Indiana," said Mike Stephenson, an Indianapolis lawyer who focuses on car and truck accidents. "I wouldn't be surprised if almost every highway within our borders needs some sort of resurfacing or improvement, and that means drivers should be anticipating the sight of lots of orange barrels and cones, barriers and signage. Being extra cautious driving through work zones will save lives," Stephenson said.

According to the Governor's press release, issued March 19, 2015, 11 people were killed and more than 600 people were injured in Indiana highway work zones in 2014. "I think people assume that it's the highway workers who are most in danger. Actually, according to figures from the Indiana Department of Transportation, four out of five individuals who die in highway work zones are motorists, either drivers or passengers," Stephenson said.

While there are certain characteristics of work zones themselves that often make driving through one perilous -- confusing pavement markings, narrow lanes, and barriers -- the most frequently occurring type of work zone accident is a rear-end collision, typically caused by not maintaining a safe distance in traffic or making a faulty merge or lane change, Stevenson said.

Distractions like using a cellphone while driving are risky at any time, according to Stevenson, but are even more dangerous in the restricted confines of a work zone, where a driver's full attention is required to maintain proper position and react quickly to changed conditions. Drivers who run afoul of the Indiana Work Zone Safety Law may find themselves facing a fine of up to $1,000 for speeding, up to $5,000 for driving recklessly or aggressively, and up to $10,000 and/or a prison sentence for injuring or killing a worker.

"We urge drivers to exercise extreme caution as weather warms up and road crews become a frequent presence on Indiana highways. Do it not just to save money; do it to save a life," Stephenson said.

ABOUT MIKE STEPHENSON:

Mike Stephenson, a personal injury lawyer with McNeely Stephenson of Shelbyville, Indiana, near Indianapolis, has been successfully representing victims of motor vehicle accidents for more than three decades. Find out more about work zone accidents on the firm's website or by calling 1-855-206-2555.

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