You may have seen the memes on Social Media teasing how it’s summer and the Massachusetts official flower (the traffic cone) is abloom. If you’ve ever driven on a Massachusetts highway, you’ve probably been caught in that random 11pm, single-lane traffic that may as well be a parking lot. During spring and summer months, our state repairs, maintains, and sometimes even renovates the roads. As a result, construction workers are everywhere working long and difficult hours to patch up and repair the almost sink-hole sized potholes, divots and other wear and tear caused by our often brutal New England winters. Unfortunately, construction workers and drivers operating in construction zones are frequently involved in car accidents that require emergency medical assistance.
Massachusetts Road Construction Accident Statistics
Road construction accidents are on the rise in Massachusetts. In 2016 alone, there were over 700 work zone crashes. It’s likely that busy lifestyles, distracted drivers, and the increase in population are contributing factors to these construction-zone crashes. The problem has gotten so bad that last year the Massachusetts State Police and DOT (Department of Transportation) established a task force in efforts to eliminate work zone car accidents.
State Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack says a safety task force in her department has developed some new work zone features:
- Blue LED lights will replace manned police cruisers at the start of a work zone and radar speed signs are also being put in place.
- Temporary “Rumble Strips” will also be installed to slow down drivers as they approach the zones.
- Officers at construction zones will be keeping a closer eye out for distracted drivers.
Lt. Col. Ed Amodeo has stated “The singular goal of these activities is to provide a safe working environment for highway construction workers, police officers, as well as the traveling public.”
Hopefully these changes will cut down on road construction site car accidents. In the meantime, you can do your part by avoiding risky driving behavior and by following these tips from the Federal Highway Administration:
- Stay alert and minimize distractions
- Dedicate your full attention to the roadway
- Avoid changing the radio station, using a mobile phone, eating, or other distractions that can disrupt your concentration from the road
- Keep your headlights on
- Pay attention to the signs
- Watch for brake lights on vehicles in front of you
- Keep an eye on traffic around you and be prepared to react
- Merge into the proper lane well before you reach the lane closure
- Be aware that traffic patterns can change daily
- Do not tailgate – follow other vehicles at a safe distance
- Obey the Posted Speed Limit
Helpful Tip: In most states in New England, fines are doubled for moving traffic violations in a work zone. That is even more incentive to drive safe and enjoy the warm weather while it lasts.
With offices in Chelsea and Salem, MA, Spada Law Group provides Boston quality legal representation without the commute into the city with free on-premises or validated parking. We are here to answer any questions you may have. Call Spada Law Group today at 617-889-5000 to discuss your situation. The consultation is free and there is absolutely no obligation to hire us. We are open Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm.