How to Avoid an Accident When Driving in a Construction Zone

Traffic accidents are all-too-common, and a surprising number of these accidents tend to occur in construction zones. In the past five years alone, more than 200,000 have been injured and 4,400 people have been killed in work zone crashes. As a driver, you hold a great deal of responsibility behind the wheel, and there are some specific precautions you should take to avoid an accident—especially when making your way through a construction zone.

Slow Down and Stay Alert

As soon as you begin to see cones, barricades, and other signs of road work, immediately let your foot off the accelerator, slow down, and observe your surroundings. Furthermore, take additional measures to avoid distractions. Now is not the time to fiddle with your radio dial, make a phone call, or eat a snack.

Allow Extra Space Between Vehicles

When driving in a construction zone, you should always be prepared for sudden stops. For this reason, it’s a good idea to increase the distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you so that there are at least a few car lengths of space. This way, in the event that a sudden stop occurs, you will have more time to safely stop your vehicle and reduce the chances of rear-ending the car in front of you.

Watch for Traffic Pattern Changes

While there should always be signage to help you figure out what to expect as you navigate through a work zone, traffic pattern changes can be quite sudden and can catch unsuspecting drivers off-guard. For this reason, it’s important to be observant not only of your immediate surroundings, but of potential traffic pattern changes in front of you. Specifically, be on the lookout for signage that would indicate such a change.

Merge Long Before Lane Closures

Speaking of signage, be sure to watch for lane closure signs as well as you drive through a construction zone. As soon as you see that a lane you’re traveling in is closing, merge over when it is safe to do so. Waiting until the last second to change lanes is not only more dangerous, but will lead to a traffic jam as well. Furthermore, be sure to leave extra space for vehicles that may need to merge over due to a lane change.

Follow Posted Speed Limits

Last but certainly not least, always obey all posted speed limit signs in a construction zone. This is always important, but isespecially vital when there are construction workers present. It may be a minor inconvenience that causes you to arrive to your destination a couple minutes late, but driving responsibly and safely is more than worth it for you and for the construction workers whose families are relying on them to come home safely.

Have you been the victim of a construction zone accident? Are you looking for legal representation that you can trust? If so, then reach out to the professionals at Becker, Lavin, & Wessler; we’re here to assist you through every step of the process.

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