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Legal Review: Safety Tips for Driving in Construction Zones

Development has been taking place at an unprecedented rate. New roads are being constructed, and existing ones are being updated every once in a while. That said, it is common for drivers to encounter construction sites along roads.

Although construction sites may seem like everyday routines, there is a lot of danger that drivers unknowingly face. Hence, it can be challenging for drivers to navigate these areas.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, close to 30,000 people died from construction site accidents from 1982 to 2019. It implies that nearly 800 people die annually, equal to about two per day on construction sites. In brief, drivers must be educated on construction site hazards to save more lives.

Below are a few reasons why road construction sites are dangerous for drivers.

Tough Terrain

Road construction sites have loose gravel, sticky tar, oil, and other substances on the road, which could cause vehicles to skid on the surface. Therefore, unprepared drivers might easily lose control due to bumpy or sticky surfaces.

Similarly, speeding drivers could easily loosen gravel that could crack their windshields or others. The situation is often worsened by severe weather conditions that might reduce visibility and hinder drivers from seeing the terrain and making appropriate decisions.

Speed Limits

For obvious safety reasons, construction zones have reduced speed limits. Unfortunately, impatient motorists driving over the limit pose a danger to themselves and others.

Construction zones have speed limits to enhance worker safety and prevent collisions with on-site machinery. This ensures that if crashes occur, the severity of the fatalities are minimized.

Traffic Patterns

Road construction operators tend to reroute drivers to facilitate construction. As a driver, it is your sole duty to obey and follow the instructions provided by the workers.

However, in some cases, impatient drivers attempt to overlap or overtake other vehicles, which pose severe risks to everyone involved. It could result in a collision with oncoming traffic or construction machinery.

Safety Tips for Drivers in Construction Sites

With all the possible hazards listed above, drivers must familiarize themselves with safety guidelines while driving.

Follow Instructions From Flaggers

Flaggers are often positioned in construction zones to control traffic. Be on the lookout for them and obey any guidelines they give. Though frustrating, it is essential to wait for their signal before proceeding.

Flaggers may use red and green flags to signal stop and go. In other instances, they may use their arms and palms to signify the same. To avoid sudden braking, drive slowly whenever you are approaching a flagger.

Maintain a Reasonable Distance Between Other Cars

There are many unpredictable outcomes in construction sites. It is wise to maintain a reasonable following distance from other vehicles. This provides ample reaction time and space, should anything happen.

Maintaining a distance of about two to three car lengths is a good practice as it prevents rear-end accidents on these sites. Increase your following distance if you are driving behind construction equipment.

Pay Attention

Drivers must be extra keen when driving through construction zones. Avoid distractions like phones and loud music as they may impair your decision-making skills and reaction time. Be on the lookout for workers as they often walk around the site.

Key Takeaways

Overspeeding in construction zones can attract a huge fine. Sustaining injuries from construction accidents could change your life forever, or even end your life altogether.

“If injured on a construction site, you can file a personal injury claim, which will help you cover medical bills and lost wages; however, better safe than sorry” says Felix Gonzalez. Following the outlined steps can reduce your chances of being involved in a crash.