When the weather begins to warm up in Minnesota, we begin to think of summer days on the lake and bonfires in the evening. Then, before you know it, you’re snapped back to reality by orange construction signs, traffic cones, and workers wearing hard hats. While it’s true that warm weather means enjoying your favorite summer activities, it also means construction season.
Driving in construction zones is no one’s favorite summer past time but is a necessary evil of living in our state thanks to the long winters. Nearly 1,100 car accidents occurred in Minnesota construction zones in 2017, totaling one percent of all car accidents for that year in the state.
While driving through a construction zone is frustrating, it’s important to remember to slow down. Speeding in construction zones is particularly dangerous because the lines on the road are typically narrower and these zones rarely have shoulders. That means less time for you to react to a dangerous situation and speeding further reduces your ability to react in enough time to prevent a crash.
Speeding penalties are stiff for a reason
A speeding violation in a Minnesota construction zone is automatically $300 and another $75 as a surcharge. You may wonder why Minnesota has such strict laws regarding speeding in construction zones. There is good reason for this.
Just last year, motor vehicle accidents killed 13 construction workers in construction zones. The risk for injury to construction workers is a reason you should assume that there is always a worker present and slow your speed to the posted limit or lower, if necessary.
No one likes sitting in construction-related traffic, but you can avoid some frustration by planning ahead and leaving for your destination earlier. Speeding is never the solution to getting through construction traffic faster because of the danger it poses to construction workers, other drivers and yourself.