Roads are constantly subjected to maintenance and construction which can severely impact your driving experience. However, the limits imposed on you while driving through a construction zone are there for good reason. Each year in the United States there are 40,000 injuries and 600 deaths that occur from vehicle incidents inside construction zones.
Because of this, it is important to remember some vital safety procedures whenever you drive through any construction zone, if not for your own safety, then for the safety of those around you such as passengers, other vehicles, and construction personnel.
Some of the best tips include:
- Follow instructions
- Keep headlights on
- Pay due care and attention
Construction crews place signage and instructions for good reason in that they know exactly what should and shouldn’t be done as well as proper safety precautions, while driving carefully and courteously is certain to reduce any risk, and just like driving at any time, make sure you are alert and paying attention to everything around you.
If you or someone else has damaged your car when driving through a construction zone then seek out the nearest collision repair shop in your area and fix any problems ASAP before they get worse.
Follow Barriers and Signage
Every construction zone has some form of communication between the personnel and drivers in the form of either electronic or standard signage. These can include such things as speed limits, diversions, and for how long the construction zone stretches. But they can also include barriers and barricades that are always clearly marked either with bright colors or flashing lights, so there is no excuse for not seeing them.
A good example is that of not adhering to the speed limit set out by a construction crew. You should always keep to a speed limit as they are there for a reason, but in a construction zone, speeding can be even more dangerous. Should you be traveling at 50mph in a 25mph zone but need to slam the brakes, it will take you time to react and apply them over approximately 174 feet which could be further depending on conditions. That could mean plowing right through a construction crew, over a ledge, or through poured concrete.
Drive Like the Road is Dangerous
This might seem obvious but when driving through a construction zone you should drive carefully. This means using your car as outlined by the traffic law in a manner befitting that of a responsible and licensed driver. A car is essentially a killing machine if used improperly and responsible driving is a right that all other drivers should expect when using the roads.
To drive as carefully as possible you should maintain any advised speed limits while inside the construction zone as well as common sense driving practices such as no tailgating, merging correctly, and being aware of how to navigate the road properly as signaled by either signage or flaggers. Additionally, keep an eye out for others who are not driving as well as you so you can be prepared for anything that could happen due to the carelessness of others.
Stay Alert at All Times
Not paying attention to your surroundings can have disastrous results when driving through a construction zone. Not only are hazards everywhere and can befall you should you not pay attention but the safety of construction personnel is also at risk when you don’t watch your surroundings. Almost 600 construction workers are fatally wounded by road vehicles each year when performing their job.
Additionally, not paying attention accounts for a large percentage of road incidents and this mostly includes cognitive distraction. By law, cognitive distraction is considered negligence and covers a wide range that includes using a phone while driving, changing a radio station, and eating or drinking. While it might be almost acceptable for any of these while in a slow-moving traffic jam, driving through a construction zone isn’t really the time.