Michigan Driving Laws for Construction Zones
One of the most reliable things about living in the state of Michigan is that, between the spring and fall seasons, you can count on there being lots of active road construction projects throughout the state. Having to deal with construction projects is never convenient, but the repairs are necessary. It’s also necessary for drivers to be careful when trying to navigate work zones and follow all laws that apply.
Facts About Construction Zone Car Accidents
According to the state of Michigan, there were 4,394 crashes in work zones throughout the state during 2022, with 13 of those being fatal. These crashes resulted in 862 injuries and 16 deaths. Out of all these work zone crashes, the highest number of them occurred in areas that involve lane closures. Work zones on shoulders and medians and zones with lane shifts/crossovers had the second and third highest amount of crashes.
The US Department of Transportation reports that most car accidents in work zones are caused by inattentive/distracted drivers. In terms of fatal work zone accidents, speeding is cited as a leading cause. Car accidents in work zones tend to happen most frequently between the months of May and September and are more common in the daytime than at night.
Michigan Construction Zone Driving Laws
First, it’s important to understand what, exactly, a construction zone is. “Work zone” is defined by section 257.79d of the Michigan Vehicle Code as the following:
- Is between a “work zone begins” sign and an “end road work” sign.
- For construction, maintenance, or utility work activities conducted by a work crew and more than 1 moving vehicle, is between a “begin work convoy” sign and an “end work convoy” sign.
- For construction, maintenance, surveying, or utility work activities conducted by a work crew and 1 moving or stationary vehicle exhibiting a rotating beacon or strobe light, is between the following points:
- (i) A point that is 150 feet behind the rear of the vehicle or that is the point from which the beacon or strobe light is first visible on the street or highway behind the vehicle, whichever is closer to the vehicle.
- (ii) A point that is 150 feet in front of the front of the vehicle or that is the point from which the beacon or strobe light is first visible on the street or highway in front of the vehicle, whichever is closer to the vehicle.
It’s very important for drivers to pay attention to their speed when driving through a work zone. Michigan law prohibits drivers from driving over 45 MPH in construction zones, but there may be signs posted indicating a lower speed limit. Construction workers also have the authority to direct traffic in work zones and the directions they give take precedence over directions from things like traffic lights.
If a driver is cited for speeding or another moving violation in a work zone, fines are doubled. Not only are there fines involved, speeding in a construction zone can also result in points on your driving record and points can drive up your auto insurance rates. The points are as follows:
- 3 points for driving 10 MPH or less over the posted speed limit
- 4 points for driving 10-15 MPH over the speed limit
- 5 points for driving over 15 MPH above the speed limit
If a driver causes death or injury to a worker in a construction zone, they face fines up to $7,500 and up to 15 years in prison.
Contact a Michigan Car Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been hurt or killed in a traffic crash, you need someone on your side who understands the law. At Scott Goodwin Law, you’ll be able to get help from a car accident lawyer highly experienced in helping victims in the state of Michigan and handling no-fault cases. Contact us today for a free consultation and find out how we can help you.