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Driving Safely Through Construction Zones

construction zones

Most people do not relish the sight of construction zone signs while driving because it means they may encounter different traffic patterns, additional traffic, and the need to slow down. Although this can be frustrating, road repairs are necessary, and driving safely through these construction zones can save lives. While drivers have the safety of being in a heavy car or truck, construction zone workers are out in the open, standing next to lightweight traffic cones or barrels. This puts them at a distinct disadvantage.

Paying Attention

Although most drivers know to reduce speeds in construction zones, some do not slow down enough or at all. Many drive the same roads frequently and do not react appropriately. One risk factor is driver distraction; motorists that are on their cell phones, eating, or otherwise not paying attention are more likely to crash in work zones. To combat this, it is recommended to put your phone on Do Not Disturb or keep your phone out of sight.

Drivers should be alert for road repairs on smaller roads, as well as highways, as workers can often be seen repairing potholes and repaving. Being vigilant after bad weather is also important, as workers may be outside 24 hours a day after a storm, performing emergency repairs.

Planning Ahead

Motorists can do themselves a favor by paying attention to traffic reports and adjusting drives accordingly. If there is construction on a planned route, drivers can plan alternate routes or leave early to compensate. If there are warning signs on the road, these must be followed. There are often posted speed limits for the construction zones for everyone’s safety. Flaggers help motorists and pedestrians proceed safely in or around the zones, and their directions must also be followed. Since they are trained, they know the best way to keep traffic moving safely.

Keeping Safe Distances and Avoiding Distractions

In addition to slowing down, drivers should keep safe distances from vehicles in front of them. Keep two car lengths behind, as this gives drivers time to stop in case the car ahead suddenly brakes. This avoids rear-end crashes, the most common type of car accident on the roads.

Construction zones can be unpredictable, with unanticipated speed reductions, slow-moving vehicles, trucks moving into the roads, and workers performing tasks. In addition to staying off the phone, drivers should take their eyes away from anything else that provides a distraction. Anticipating sudden changes and remaining focused will prevent accidents.

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