The worldwide pandemic has resulted in strange, seemingly unexplainable trends. One of the most prominent has been that, despite reduced traffic on highways throughout the United States, rates of crashes and fatalities have increased.

The risk is particularly high for road workers

Highway work such as filling potholes, painting road stripes and diverting traffic has its share of inherent risks. Crews have to change traffic patterns and narrow right-of-ways, putting workers perilously close to vehicles speeding past them.

During the pandemic, the lower levels of traffic should have made road work safer. Yet, in some states, work zone crashes and deaths have spiked during the pandemic due to distracted, impaired and reckless driving.

Speeders fail to heed work zones

According to the senior director at the Governors Highway Safety Association, “Speeding has really come to the forefront during COVID. People are going much too fast. In work zones, that’s the worst thing we can have happen.”

In New Mexico, speeding in a work zone results in double penalties for the driver. If signage indicates a work zone on a highway, drivers caught for speeding must pay double the normal fine, regardless of whether workers are present. While the heavy fine may be a deterrent to dangerous driving, respect for others’ lives should be the primary reason for driving safely on New Mexico roads.

For more on these matters, please see our overview of motor vehicle accidents in New Mexico. Our firm represents injury victims and their families.