How To Avoid a Work Zone Crash in Michigan - Call Lee Free

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How To Avoid a Work Zone Crash in Michigan

auto accident in work zone

Key Points of This Article:

  • In 2019, Michigan’s Office of Highway Safety Planning reported more than 5,800 crashes in construction, maintenance, and utility work zones.
  • The majority of work zone crashes in Michigan are avoidable and caused by inattentive, speeding, or distracted motorists.
  • Accident prone areas in Michigan due to 2020 road construction projects include I-75 in Metro Detroit, and several other well-trafficked roadways in Macomb County, Ottawa County, Kent County, as well as in Lansing, and the Granville and Hudsonville areas.
  • If you become injured in a road construction-related accident, you can seek out legal support to understand your options for compensation better and request help in proving another driver’s negligence.

Michigan Road Construction Puts Drivers on Alert for Crash Prone Areas

In Michigan, the Office of Highway Safety Planning reports the number of fatal crashes and injuries that occur in construction, maintenance, and utility work zones in 2019 included 5,808 work zone crashes and 17 work zone fatalities. And again, this summer and into the fall months, several road construction projects are well underway in Michigan and causing backups in accident prone areas.

From Metro Detroit’s I-75 modernization, I-96 updates in Oakland County, M-99 pavement work in the City of Lansing, and several bridge repair projects across the state, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) wants drivers to watch out for the known crash risks associated with road construction.

  • Speeding, like driving too fast for conditions, is a leading cause of fatal work zone crashes.
  • Rear-end crashes are the most common type of work zone crash.
  • The highest number of work zone crashes occur when lanes are closed.
  • The second and third-highest number of crashes occur when there is work on the shoulder/median and lane shifts/crossovers.
  • More work zone crashes occurred in the daytime compared to nighttime.
  • Fatal crashes occurred more often during May through September.
  • Most often, drivers or their passengers are killed or injured in work zone crashes.

Fines are doubled for all moving violations in Michigan work zones. Also, motorists caught speeding in construction zones face increased points on their driving records. If you cause injury or death to any person in a work zone, you may face fines of up to $7,500 and imprisonment of up to 15 years.

List of Major Road and Bridge Construction Projects in Michigan

Major road and bridge construction projects are expected to last several months or longer and may involve significant delays. Be better prepared to adjust your commute or familiar driving routes by reviewing a list of major road and bridge projects currently under construction, provided by MDOT.

Interstate Routes

  • I-196 Bridge Improvements and Pavement Treatment, Kent County
  • I-69 Reconstruction, Calhoun & Eaton Counties
  • I-75 Modernization Design-Build-Finance-Maintain (DBFM) Project
  • I-75 Modernization, Oakland County
  • I-94 Modernization, Detroit
  • I-94/Pipestone Road Interchange Reconstruction
  • I-94 Road and Bridge Reconstruction, Jackson County
  • I-96 bridges over Billwood Highway and the Grand River
  • I-196/I-96/E. Beltline Ave., Kent County
  • I-196 Reconstruction Grandville/Hudsonville, Kent & Ottawa Counties
  • I-496 Reconstruction in Lansing – Paving the Way
  • I-696 Reconstruction, Macomb County

Michigan Routes

  • M-28 Munising reconstruction
  • US-41/M-28 Marquette Township reconstruction and roundabouts
  • M-99 Pavement Repair, City of Lansing, Ingham County

US Routes

  • US-2 Bessemer Reconstruction
  • US-41 Houghton Reconstruction
  • US-2 relocation, Epoufette
  • US-23, FlexRoute23
  • US-31 Relocation, Berrien County
  • US-41/M-28 Marquette Township reconstruction and roundabouts
  • US-131 Reconstruction, Three Rivers, St. Joseph County

Special Projects

Until these known hazardous, partially closed roads are complete, drivers will be stuck moving through the congested traffic arteries, detoured into cross traffic and busy intersections, and distracted by construction zones. All drivers must do what they can to reduce their crash risk.

How To Avoid a Work Zone Crash

It only takes a brief moment of driver distraction in a work zone to change lives forever. Start keeping yourself and others safe by slowing down and staying alert to any hazards or changes in traffic patterns to avoid a work zone crash.

  1. Expect the unexpected. Normal speed limits may be reduced, traffic lanes may change, and workers, vehicles, or equipment may enter your path without warning.
  • Minimize distractions. Dedicate your full attention to the road. Avoid using cellphones or engaging in other distracting behaviors while driving in a work zone. The highest number of distracted driving accidents in Michigan occur in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Bloomfield Township in Oakland County, Lansing, and Sterling Heights.
  • Obey road crews and signs. Crews know what is best for moving traffic safely in the work zone. Signs are posted in advance of work zones to give you time to follow their instructions to merge, slow down, or stop.
  • Don’t speed or tailgate. In Michigan, fines are doubled for speeding in a work zone, so slow down. Keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle ahead of you.  
  • Pay attention to other drivers. Vehicles may slow, stop, or change lanes unexpectedly in a work zone. Watch for brake lights and be prepared to react to the traffic around you. 
  • Be patient, and stay calm. Work zones are not there to inconvenience you. They are necessary to improve our roads and make your future drive better.

Disrupted interstate highway traffic may detour drivers to cross with several other dangerous intersections and crossroads in Michigan. Wherever you are driving, avoid putting yourself and others at risk of accident and serious personal injury by driving sober, staying off your phone and away from distractions, wearing your seatbelt, and always obey traffic laws and posted speed limits.

Michigan Work Zone and Auto Crash Injury Lawyers

If you have been injured in a Michigan driving accident while traveling through a work or construction zone, the attorneys at the Lee Steinberg Law Firm, P.C., are ready to use our decades of experience to help you move forward. A personal injury lawsuit can help ease financial burdens, but it can help create community changes that reduce driving risks to others. If you’ve been involved in a motor vehicle accident, contact us today for your FREE consultation at 1-800-LEE-FREE.

Also read: Summer Road Trip Safety and Car Accident Advice

Video Transcript

Yeah, there’s a number of road construction projects going on in the summer as always in Michigan. One of the big ones in the Metro Detroit area is the I-75 modernization project. That’s a multiyear projects going both northbound and southbound on I-75. During 2020 to summer going into the fall and winter, they’re going to be expanding lanes going in each direction as well as improving the roadway to create additional lanes. This is affecting areas from about Hazel Park, North up to Troy through Auburn Hills. They’re also creating the first high occupancy vehicle lane in Michigan, or HOV, which, I guess, is going to be a specific lane for people to use who are, I think, have a shared ride type situation. And so, they can use those lanes for quick travel. Some other projects in the Metro Detroit area in Macomb County, there’s all these, a ton of projects in Macomb. They’re repairing/repaving 10 mile road, 14 mile road, an 18 mile road between Dequindre and Ryan.

There’s a repair project at 21 mile in Garfield. That’s been going on. They’re reconstructing parts of 23 mile road. And I know they’re doing a complete reconstruction of Dequindre, which has been needed for years from about Utica Road to North Auburn Road. I don’t know how long these projects are going to take. I think they’ve been going on for a little bit of time in fits and starts, but you can look for that to go on. Elsewhere, in Lansing, they’re doing a reconstruction project on I-496 and I-96 at Lansing Road. That’s been started and will be continuing. And then, I know there’s a road project in I-196 in the Granville, Hudsonville area out in Kent County. And into Ottawa County, they’re doing some road work there as well. I know that’s a $25 million project that they’ve been looking to do for a while. So like always, there’s a ton of construction projects going on in Michigan. Just be safe, go below the speed limit, follow the rules of the road.