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Work Zone Safety


INDOT works diligently to reduce the effect of construction activities, particularly on interstate highways, where statistics show there is greater risk of injury or death in a work zone crash. Over the past decade, 269 people have been killed in work zones or work zone backups, including motorists and workers. With the help of the traveling public, we are determined to reduce these numbers to protect both workers and Indiana roadway users.

INDOT also works hard to provide timely, accurate, and relevant work zone information to travelers using message boards, the INDOT TrafficWise website, the INDOT Real-Time Traffic Conditions website and social and traditional media. To reduce driver confusion, we focus on building and maintaining work zones where travel paths are clear and where driver expectations are known. To protect our workers, we require high visibility safety apparel and protective equipment on all INDOT projects.

We are dedicated to protecting all workers that build and maintain INDOT roadways. However, it’s important to realize that 4 out of 5 people that die in highway work zones are either drivers or passengers. Accordingly, INDOT’s Work Zone Safety group is also dedicated to protecting motorists who drive through our work zones.

Work Zone Safety is everyone’s responsibility. Please use caution and drive carefully when traveling through highway work zones.

Work Zone Crash Statistics

  • Nationally, four out of five people killed in work zones are drivers and passengers – not highway workers.
  • Rear-end crashes are the most common type of work zone crash.
  • It takes just one minute more to travel through a two-mile work zone at 45 mph than 65 mph.
  • Areas where traffic is entering or leaving work zones are often more dangerous because drivers may be changing lanes and merging.
  • Most fatal work zone crashes occur on roads with speed limits greater than 50 mph.
  • Fatal work zone crashes occur most often in summer and fall.

Work Zone Safety Driving Tips

  • Research your Route. Before setting out on the road, research your route. When possible, avoid work zones and use any detours that are available.
  • Pay Attention. Be aware of all signage throughout work zones that can indicate reduced speeds, lane changes and other important information.
  • Slow Down. Lane closures, traffic pattern shifts, and reduced speeds are common in work zones. Make sure to slow down when entering a work zone and keep an eye out for road workers.
  • Move into The Open Lane. Be sure to pay close attention to vehicles around you that could be in your blind spot.
  • Keep your distance. Rear-end crashes are extremely common in work zones – always maintain extra space between your vehicle and the one in front of you.

Most Common Collision Causes

Most Common Causes Noted by Police:

  • Following too closely.
  • Unsafe lane movement.
  • Failure to yield right-of-way.
  • Ran off roadway.
  • Ran over object in roadway.
  • Improper lane change.
  • Driver inattention.
  • Unsafe speed.

These causes resulted in the following common types of collisions: rear-end, same direction sideswipe, head-on between two motor vehicles, and roadway departure.

In 2023, work zone crash data showed that 33 people were killed and more than 1,750 were injured in INDOT work zones.

Indiana's Work Zone Safety Law

The Indiana Work Zone Safety Law sets steep penalties for driving infractions within highway work zones. First time citations for speeding in a work zone result in a $300 fine. The fine increases to $500 for a second offense and $1,000 for a third offense within three years. Motorists who drive recklessly or aggressively through a work zone face fines up to $5,000. Drivers who injure or kill a highway worker may end up paying a $10,000 fine and serving up to six years behind bars. Fines generated from the work zone law are used to fund additional work zone patrols in an around work zones. The following links are provided for your reference concerning laws affecting work zones in Indiana:

Protect the Queue: INDOT's Queue Awareness Program

In 2020, INDOT launched the Protect the Queue program to promote queue awareness. The program pairs two queue trucks ahead of a backup to alert motorists to an upcoming backup so that drivers can begin to slow their speeds in advance of the queue. Learn more about the Protect The Queue Program and watch the INDOT TRAINING VIDEO FOR QUEUE AWARENESS here.

Transportation Management Plans (TMPs)

Work Zone Safety encourages the thoughtful preparation of Transportation Management Plans (TMPs).  TMPs are overall strategies designed to accommodate traffic during road work that minimizes adverse impacts and maximizes safety or and mobility. The Indiana Design Manual (IDM) provides extensive guidance to designers concerning the preparation of TMPs and is the primary INDOT reference for designers.

In 2020, two NHCRP reports were published concerning TMP Strategies. These documents are provided to supplement the guidance in the IDM:

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