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How can I Drive Safely in Construction Zones?

April 1, 2021

Construction on the highways ensures safer driving and better infrastructure for everyone. However, not every motorist drives properly when approaching or going through work zones along the road. In order to reduce the number of car wrecks and injuries in construction zones, drivers should keep some safety tips in mind. Each of these tips will help new and seasoned motorists become better drivers.

Avoid All Distractions

It is very easy for someone to get into a distracted driving accident, especially in a construction zone. Motorists who notice an upcoming construction zone should get rid of all distractions prior to entering the zone. These distractions can include the radio, a hands-free conversation, and even discussion with passengers. The fewer the distractions, the easier it is to concentrate on changing lanes and roadway conditions.

Even motorists who frequently drive through the same construction zone each day should pay special attention. Construction sites change regularly, which means traffic patterns in the afternoon may not be the same as they were in the morning.

Do Not Tailgate in Construction Zones

Tailgating is an unsafe practice in or out of work zones. Nevertheless, it can be especially dangerous in construction zones where traffic may slow to a crawl or stop suddenly. Ideally, vehicles should remain at least two or three car lengths apart when traveling through any type of construction.

Pay Attention to Probable Construction Zones Ahead

Many motorists overlook signs and indicators of construction zones. This leaves them unable to properly adjust their driving habits when they come to construction sites. Typically, signs will indicate an upcoming construction zone miles in advance. Some smartphone applications as well as navigational devices will also give drivers alerts about construction zones.

Adjust Speed

Speed limits can vary widely in work zones. Sometimes, the speed limit in construction zones can be 10 miles below the normal speed limit. Other times, speed limits are quite a bit lower to accommodate for equipment crossing the road or uneven surfaces. Drivers should resist the temptation to try to speed through construction sites to get away from them. Posted speed limits help keep everyone safe. Additionally, it is costly to get caught speeding in a work zone.

Check Route Ahead of Time

One modern way to avoid work zones altogether is to look them up online. Many sites reveal work zone areas, which allows travelers to easily navigate away from workers who are fixing the road or doing other construction.

Although not all online maps are kept up-to-date, some are quite accurate. Drivers who are taking unfamiliar routes may want to spend some time looking up alternate choices. If this is not possible, they should make sure to leave extra time to get to appointments, locations, and events.

Additionally, motorists should try to plan what time of day they should drive. In the early morning hours and at night, construction sites can be particularly tough to follow. Motorists should turn on their lights and drive with extra care. This rule also holds true in inclement weather, such as fog, rain, sleet, snow, and ice.

Be Wary of Workers

Upon entering a work zone, a driver might not see any construction workers at all; however, the workers could be behind a piece of equipment or barrier. Therefore, motorists need to act with caution at all times, even if they do not see anyone working on the road.

Sometimes, employees at construction sites carry flags or hold signs to help stop and direct traffic. Drivers need to be considerate of these workers because they have no protection. Even hitting a construction worker slightly could seriously injure or kill the worker. Cars, trucks, SUVs, and commercial trucks should maintain a wide berth around workers who are working along the highway. This minimizes the chance of a collision.

Avoid Changing Lanes

Many times, construction zones are set up so that motorists are not able to change lanes. Some motorists try anyway, which puts everyone on the roadway at risk. Although it can be frustrating to drive slowly through a work zone, it is best to not try to frequently change lanes. Additionally, lanes in construction zones can be slippery due to loose gravel or spilled liquids as well, so it is best to avoid changing lanes.

Pay Attention to Heavy Machinery

It is not unusual to see heavy machinery along the side of the road. Drivers need to pay attention to these vehicles and not get them mixed up with the other vehicles moving along the highway. Hitting a piece of heavy machinery could injure a motorist and passengers. It could also harm construction workers in and around the piece of equipment.

Resume Regular Driving Only After Leaving the Zone

Even if a work zone looks like it might be finished, drivers should wait until they are absolutely sure they can resume normal speeds. When they do exit the construction zone, they should avoid speeding up suddenly. Drivers should slowly return to the posted speed limit.

What Should I Do After a Construction Zone Car Accident?

Even the most conscientious motorist can get into a crash in a work zone, especially if the crash was another driver’s fault. After an accident, the driver should proceed to a safe spot if it is possible. If not, they should get out of their vehicle as long as they are not hurt. Calling 9-1-1 will be necessary to alert emergency responders to the scene.

A victim may also want to contact a car accident lawyer to talk about recovering damages. Recovering from a serious injury can be costly, and an insurance carrier may be reluctant to offer a fair settlement. Having legal representation can help a victim get properly compensated after a construction zone car accident.

Huntsville Car Accident Lawyers at Hodges Trial Lawyers, P.C. Help Victims After Construction Zone Collisions

Even if you follow traffic rules in a construction zone, you can still be injured by another motorist. If you were injured by another driver, a Huntsville car accident lawyer at Hodges Trial Lawyers, P.C. can protect your rights. Call us at 256-539-3110 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Huntsville and Athens, Alabama, we serve clients throughout Madison County, Limestone County, Marshall County, Jackson County, Morgan County, Lauderdale County, and North Alabama.