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Fatal road construction accident near Battle Mountain shows dangers to drivers and workers alike

Car accidents are the leading cause of death and injury among Nevadans aged 5 to 34.
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    December 15, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Fatal road construction accident near Battle Mountain shows dangers to drivers and workers alike

Southern Nevadans are used to a lot of road construction. To residents, it can seem like most of the highways and residential roads are always under construction, since Las Vegas and the surrounding areas are constantly growing. Additionally, while road work in many other states is winding down for the winter, road construction often continues in Southern Nevada, since the weather rarely cools down enough to require construction to stop. As anyone who has driven along a highway covered in orange construction cones can attest, driving through a work zone can be scary and dangerous.

According to a study by the Nevada State Health Division and the University of Nevada Las Vegas School of Community Health Sciences, car accidents are the leading cause of death and injury among Nevadans aged 5 to 34. The fatality rates involving commercial trucks in Nevada are about seven times higher than the national average. Not surprisingly, many of these commercial truck accidents involve trucks used in work zones.

Hefty fines and penalties for reckless driving in work zones

The fine for speeding or driving recklessly in a work zone is doubled up to $1,000 in Nevada, says the Governors Highway Safety Association. Violators can also face up to six months in jail or perform 120 hours of community service. Drivers who cause an accident in a work zone that injures or kills someone else can also face criminal charges.

In early November, a California driver approached a construction zone on Interstate 80 near Battle Mountain, said KTVN. The driver swerved into orange construction barrels to keep from hitting other cars stopped in front of her, and hit and killed two construction workers at the scene. Police say the 69-year-old driver could face criminal charges.

This type of crash is common in highway construction zones, says the Federal Highway Administration. In work zones, the most common types of accidents include hitting fixed objects such as cones or signs, or rear-ending cars that have slowed down or stopped.

Avoiding a work zone accident

When approaching or driving through a work zone, drivers need to take the following precautions:
-Avoid distractions such as cell phone use or adjusting the radio.
-Keep headlights on.
-Obey the speed limit and don't tailgate.
-Watch the traffic ahead, keeping an eye out for brake lights.
-Merge into the proper lane before the other lane closes, and only change lanes when it's safe and legal to do so.

It's important to be aware of what's going on even when the work zone has ended, as traffic changes can be sudden and unexpected.

While driving through work zones in Southern Nevada, you may not be able to avoid an accident if another driver is speeding or careless. Work zone crashes can be especially dangerous for those inside vehicles that have slowed down, if drivers behind them aren't paying attention. If you've been injured in a work zone accident, it can help to contact an experienced personal injury attorney.

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