by: Ursula Nizalowski
As the height of summer draws close, we’re seeing all kinds of construction work being done on the roads lately. This means drivers are going to have to plan accordingly to deal with unexpected delays in traffic caused by roadwork. Because the last thing anyone wants is an impatient driver in a construction zone, as they pose not only a threat to the people around them but also themselves. For instance, in 2019 there were a total of 762 fatal crashes in construction zones all over the United States according to the National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse. So on that note, here is a list of simple tips for driving through construction zones in general.
What To Do
Though this should be the most obvious advice to follow, it’s often ignored by drivers who are either overconfident or in a hurry. But in construction zones, vehicles often have to slow down so that road workers may do their jobs without putting their lives at risk. Plus, it prevents drivers from accidentally bumping into other vehicles or construction equipment.
Heed Warning Signs
Whether it’s orange diamonds or cones, they are present on the road for a reason. Mainly, to direct traffic through construction zones in a safe and relatively efficient manner. This includes flaggers that wave signs with the words ‘stop’ or ‘slow’ on them, who shouldn’t be neglected for the sake of their safety as well as the driver’s.
Colorado’s Department of Transportation advises that one should be prepared for many unexpected things in a construction zone, such as reduced speed limits, changing traffic lanes, and people “working on or near the road”. For this reason, drivers should remain alert while driving through construction zones. Reducing distractions like the radio and concentrating solely on what’s happening in the road ahead will be helpful in this regard.
What Not To Do
As stated before, vehicles are often forced to slow down at construction zones in order to allow safe passage without endangering the workers or the drivers. So when a driver speeds up, it puts everyone around them in danger because “Speeding is one of the major causes of work zone crashes” as stated by the Colorado Department of Transportation. Plus, there are construction zones which issue traffic tickets that are double the amount of a typical fine to incentivize drivers not to speed up.
Like speeding, tailgating is frowned upon. Especially in a construction zone, since “Most of the accidents within a work zone are rear-end collisions” according to EHS Today magazine. Thus, it’s best for drivers to keep their vehicles at a relatively safe distance between each other.
Due to the unpredictable nature of construction zones, traffic often flows in uneasy patterns. Though it is better to go with the flow of traffic than fight against it by abruptly changing lanes. Such action could very well lead to a severe accident, much like speeding and/or tailgating behind other vehicles.
Just remember that while construction work may be inconvenient for you as a driver, it’s necessary for keeping roads functioning and safe for everyone. Therefore, the least one can do is drive safely through construction zones out of respect for the workers and other drivers. We hope these tips for driving through construction zones will aid you in safely navigating those areas. Plus, in the long run, the roads will be much safer to drive on after they’ve been fixed. But for any accidents that do happen in a construction zone, contact attorney Rick Wagner.