How to Safely Drive Through Construction Zones
Driving is a responsibility and a right that requires training, skill and attention. There is a reason why we require new drivers to put in hours of practice and take on-the-road and written tests: It is because we want to make sure that people understand the seriousness of what they are about to undertake and have the skills that are needed to keep them and their fellow drivers safe. One of the things that every driver needs to understand is that safe driving requires special attention when driving through a construction zone. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, two percent of all fatalities that take place on American roads result from crashes in work zones. That equals almost two deaths per day. Work zone crashes happen for many different reasons, most of which are preventable. One of the best ways to avoid construction zone accidents is to learn how to drive safely through construction zones. Here are our top tips for driving safely near these work areas.
- Slow down! Work zones generally have reduced speed limits and signage warning of lane shifts and other hazards. If you reduce your speed and increase your level of awareness, you may save a life.
- Watch out for surprises. Construction zones are notorious for being the site of unexpected events.
- Take a deep breath. Patience is an important part of driving in general, and particularly in construction zones. You may need to drive more slowly, stop entirely, or forgive the behaviors of other drivers who are confused by the change from the norm.
- Respect the flagger. The men and women who are standing in work zones and guiding traffic are in a dangerous and vulnerable position. Make sure that you understand that they are there protecting the safety of their coworkers and of motorists.
- Shift lanes with caution. Construction zone accidents frequently require drivers to merge lanes, and this can lead to an accident if it is done without the appropriate amount of checking. Respect and patience with other drivers is also recommended.
- Remember your defensive driving techniques. Defensive driving is a method in which drivers are trained to anticipate what other drivers might do and to take defensive actions to prevent accidents. This means leaving proper space between your vehicle and the car that’s ahead of you, and giving a wide berth to equipment, workers and barriers.
- Follow the signage. Many drivers make the mistake of returning to their original speed or driving pattern as soon as they believe themselves past the work zone, then are surprised to find another worker or barrier ahead of them. Construction zones provide signage that lets you know when you are clear of the work area.
By allowing yourself plenty of time and remaining alert, you can help prevent construction zone accidents. For legal help if you have been in any type of automobile accident, contact the attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers to set up a free consultation.