Construction season means reminders for motorists on work zone safety

Montana drivers are all too familiar with construction on major roadways in the state. These projects often can close down a lane or road, and can add significant delays to travel times. The daily commute can become much more frustrating, which can lead to impatient motorists.

Drivers traveling through work zones need to remain alert at all times. In Montana, there were 170 car accidents in these areas in 2013, which resulted in several injuries and one fatality, according to the state Department of Transportation (MDT).

Many of the drivers traveling through work zones are traveling at speeds higher than the posted limits. They are not deterred by the threats of a costly speeding ticket, and continue to place themselves, other motorists and workers at risk of serious injuries if a crash occurs.

Nationwide, reports by the Federal Highway Administration state that one-third of work zone accidents happen because drivers are not following posted speed limits. The agency also reveals that nearly 90 percent of the fatalities in work zones are the drivers or passengers of these vehicles.

MDT encourages motorists to allot extra time should they be traveling through construction areas. This will allow them to be sure that they arrive at their destinations on time even if they encounter delays. This will also help motorists pay closer attention to what is happening in these work zones, so that they can make the necessary lane changes or shifts without having to make sudden moves.

If you have been involved in an auto accident, you may not know what you should do next. Exchange insurance information with all of the other drivers in the crash. You should take photos of the damage of your vehicle, as well as the other vehicles, so that you can clearly connect the repair costs to the accident.

You should also visit your doctor after the collision, even if you believe that you do not have any serious injuries. Often, head, shoulder and back injuries can result from these crashes, and can take some time before they become severe enough to require medical attention. This can make it very difficult to tie your injuries to the original accident.

After you have received medical treatment, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney to learn more about your claims. Your attorney will be able to perform a comprehensive review of the accident, and begin determining the types of compensation that may be available to you. This will allow you to make a clear decision about the potential offers from insurance companies that you may be receiving.