Depending on which part of the country you live or drive in, you might be faced with road construction year round. In regions where the construction season is short yet crucial, such as the Midwest, roadways that are under construction can be even more nightmarish during daily commutes. It’s well known that auto accidents are a daily occurrence, but they may be more frequent when road conditions are worse due to road construction projects. “A work zone that is set up for maintenance or construction,” explains Pajcic, a Jacksonville Car Accident Attorney, “does not adequately warn drivers to slow down or, through poor layout, leads to collisions.” While it’s important for construction zones to be properly and clearly marked for the safety of all motorists, it’s also important for drivers to change the way they drive while traveling through and around a construction zone.
Safe Driving in a Construction Zone:
Each year, thousands of motorists and road construction workers are injured or killed in a construction zone. Like a majority of accidents, injuries and deaths could be spared each year if drivers made a commitment to drive safer and be more aware. Here are some helpful tips to keep you safer while driving in a construction zone:
- Know the Signs: Construction signs are typically orange and relatively straight forward. Although the signs should indicate lane closures, bumps in the road, uneven pavement, or other construction related information, continue to drive with caution. Sometimes, proper signs are missing or areas of the road are mismarked. For example, if you hit a major bump in the road (and aren’t notified via signage) you may end up having damage to your vehicle.
- Keep Your Distance & Watch Your Speed: You should always adhere to speed limits, but in construction zones it’s even more important to follow the posted speed limit. In construction zones, for the safety of construction workers and motorists, speed limits are typically lower and fines are steep if drivers fail to stay in or below the mph.
Additionally, it’s important to keep your distance between the vehicle traveling in front of you. As a good rule, treat driving through a construction zone like gridlock. Expect sudden starts and stops and keep your distance to prevent a rear end collision.
- Continue to Practice Distracted Free Driving: Distracted driving is a major issue on roadways. Even if you are driving a snail’s pace through a construction zone, do not text and drive. Your full attention is needed at all times.
Stay Calm During Your Drive:
Driving in a construction zone can be stressful and frustrating. Even though road construction can be a major inconvenience, it needs to happen so you may as well accept the delays. Not only can driving in a construction zone test your patience, but it may also be nerve wracking. Here are some ways to keep calm while driving through road construction:
- Eliminate Distractions: Road construction zones require full attention, so try to reduce or even eliminate your distractions. This means turn down your radio, ask the kids to be quiet, and ignore your phone. Remember, there’s no such thing as multi-tasking while driving.
- Be Well Rested & Not Hungry: When driving through congested, slow areas it’s more difficult to be calm and stress free if you’re hungry or tired. As with any car trip, make sure you’re well rested before you hit the road and don’t drive when you’re hungry. Thinking about going through a drive thru? Don’t eat and drive, it’s a messy distraction. In addition to being well rested and full, don’t forget to empty your bladder. If you need to use the bathroom, you’ll be more likely to rush and pay less attention to the road.
The best way to stay safe in a construction zone is to drive as safely as you do on a daily basis and give yourself extra time to get from place to place.