EXTRA CAUTION IS ESSENTIAL IN WORK ZONES
Posted on: Mar. 10, 2017 in Driving, Safety, Accidents

As Spring approaches, road work will likely be ramping up in many areas of the country. From pothole repair to more significant work, the change in weather can allow for more repairs on the roadways. What’s likely a necessary endeavor can certainly snarl up traffic and foul up your travels.

According to the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) 2014 Work Zone Safety and Mobility Fact Sheet, there were 669 fatalities and approximately 30,500 injuries attributable to accidents in work zones. Although the delays due to work zones can become extremely frustrating for motorist trying to get through, these deaths and injuries speak to the need for increased caution when traveling through such an area.

Here are some things you can do to maximize safety when driving near and through work zones:

  • Slow down. As always, the number one safety tip for drivers is to reduce speed. If there is a reduced speed limit at any point, follow it.
  • Obey signage. The signs are posted to alert you to hazards. Don’t ignore them. Whether there’s a worker flagging traffic or simply a posted sign, adhering to the instructions is important.
  • Don’t tailgate. Driving too close to the car in front of you is always ill-advised. The same 2014 FHWA study found that 30% of the work zone accidents were rear-end collisions.
  • Be alert. Anything can happen in a work zone. Traffic patterns can change overnight, lanes may shift, or equipment and road crew members could enter the roadway.
  • Keep moving. There could be lots going on in the work zone, but this is no time to slow down and watch. Not only will you contribute to the traffic, but you can also cause an accident if the person behind you isn’t paying attention.

If you can avoid a construction area, that’s all the better. Traveling in off hours and outside of typical commuting times can also help. If you know you’ll be driving right into the thick of things, leave extra time for delays, check traffic delays, and prepare to be patient!

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