Embrace the Orange Campaign Stresses Work Zone Safety in Illinois

As the construction season gets underway the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and its partners kicked off the "Embrace the Orange" campaign. The initial launch coincided with National Work Zone Awareness Week during the last week of April. The goal of the campaign is to reduce motor vehicle accidents, injuries and fatalities in construction zones across Illinois.

Work zone accidents are a serious concern. On average, more than 7,000 such crashes occur annually in Illinois. Twenty-four people lost their lives due to construction zone accidents last year. These fatalities included motorists and construction workers, as well as one work zone pedestrian. Even though this represents the lowest number of deaths in several years, IDOT and other organizations participating in the campaign are committed to reducing it to zero.

The Illinois State Police Operational Services Commander explained, "Construction zones can become fatal zones if road safety precautions are not followed and the Illinois State Police is committed to an overall zero fatality goal that also includes work zone crashes."

Causes of Illinois Construction Zone Auto Accidents

Distracted driving and speeding frequently contribute to work zone accidents. The Embrace the Orange Campaign encourages motorists to slow down, abide by work zone speed limits and be alert. Reduced or narrow lanes, heavy equipment near traffic, and drop offs are all potential dangers requiring cautious driving.

All Illinois drivers are prohibited from using hand-held mobile devices for any purpose while traveling through construction or school zones. Additionally, on all Illinois roadways, motorists are banned from texting, emailing or browsing the internet while driving.

Photo speed enforcement vans will be used by State Police Troopers this year. Illinois has tough penalties for motorists who speed or cause accidents in work zones. Speeding fines start at $375. If a driver hits a worker they may face fines of $10,000 and prison time of up to 14 years.

If you have been injured as the result of an accident in a work zone an experienced personal injury attorney can provide advice about your rights and potential claims.