How to Stay Safe When Driving Through Work Zones


Roadwork isn’t fun for anyone, but it’s a necessary inconvenience if drivers want to travel on well-maintained roads. That being said, mild irritation isn’t the only hazard that comes along with driving through a work zone. While most major construction work is carried out during late, early, and off-peak hours, it’s inevitable that some work has to be done during the day. Traffic work zones can pose dangers to both workers and drivers. Here are some tips that can help keep you and others safe as you travel through work zones.

Expect the Unexpected

Anything can happen when you’re traveling through a work zone. From a worker losing their balance to nails in the roadway, it’s important to be alert and prepared for anything. Many people find themselves driving on autopilot, especially on routes they travel frequently such as to and from work. You often hear people joke about how they barely remember their drive to work, and in some cases that’s understandable since it’s a trip you make so often. However, road work changes everything. Suddenly, you’re in a situation you’re not familiar with, and you have no idea what to expect. You must be alert and aware any time you’re traveling through a work zone.

Drive Slowly

Of all the fatalities that occur due to work zone accidents, over a third are caused by drivers who are speeding at the time of the accident. It’s important to slow down when traveling near road construction or road work of any kind in order to ensure the safety of drivers, passengers, and workers alike. Slowing down will give you time to react appropriately to any unexpected events.

Keep Up With Traffic

It might sound counterintuitive given the last tip, but it’s just as dangerous to drive too slowly as it is to drive too fast. While it’s important to slow your vehicle as you enter a work zone, only lessen your speed enough to safely pass through the area. While you don’t want to speed, driving too slowly can cause problems, too. Don’t try to look at what’s happening or allow yourself to be distracted by the activity along the side of the road. Instead, keep your eyes on the road and keep up with the traffic so passage through the work zone is as efficient as possible for everyone on the road.

Don’t Tailgate

Nearly 30 percent of accidents that occur in work zones are rear-end collisions. While speed can play a factor in these collisions, it’s usually not the main cause. Tailgating, or following too closely behind the vehicle in front of you, is the driving behavior most commonly responsible for rear-end collisions in work zones. It’s common for drivers to have to slow or stop suddenly either while transitioning into a work zone or traveling through it. Leave enough room for sudden stops and redirections when driving through construction zones.

Have Patience and Plan Ahead

Smartphone apps will be able to tell you whether or not to expect delays on your route. Most will give you real-time information about your entire route and local traffic situations. Check these updates, and leave early if you see there will be delays en route. Have patience. Traveling through work zones is slow and inconvenient, but it’s unsafe when tempers flare. Plan your route as best you can, but be patient if you run up against delays.

While traveling through work zones can be a frustrating experience, following these tips can help you avoid accidents and get to your destination as quickly and safely as possible. If you do get into an accident while traveling, be sure to contact a traffic attorney as soon as possible. Only a qualified and experienced traffic lawyer will be able to assess the details of your case and help you obtain the most beneficial outcome.


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