Construction Zone Safety for Drivers
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Construction Zone Statistics
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, from 2009 to 2014, automobile accidents inside construction zones accounted for some 4,400 deaths and 200,000 more injuries. Most fatal work zone crashes occur on roads with speed limits greater than 50 miles per hour, with rear-end crashes being the most common type of collision.
When driving through a construction zone, you should keep in mind a number of important safety procedures, which will help reduce the risk of injury for you, your passengers, and your fellow drivers.
While distracted driving is always dangerous, it is even more so in a construction zone. Be sure to keep your focus on the road and to avoid such attention-diverting behaviors as using a mobile phone or other electronic device, adjusting the radio, grooming, reading, and eating and drinking.
In addition to obeying all road signs, follow any instructions signaled by a flagger, watch for brake lights on vehicles ahead, and be prepared to react quickly to a sudden shift in traffic.
Reduce Your Speed
Speed limits are typically lowered in construction zones to help enhance the safety of on-site personnel, and fines for moving violations may be doubled when workers are present.
Leave an adequate amount of distance between you and the vehicle ahead, as sudden stops are common inside work zones.
The minimum stopping distances needed for vehicles traveling at 50 MPH are:
- Dry roadway: 300 feet
- Wet roadway: 400 feet
- Icy pavement: 1,250 feet
Almost 50 percent more stopping distance is needed for a loaded 80,000-pound tractor-trailer.
Use Caution When Changing Lanes
You should change lanes only where indicated by pavement markings and when permitted by traffic conditions. If you are driving in a lane that closes ahead, merge well before reaching the closure.
A useful tool to remember is the Take 10 technique, which involves using your turn signal for at least three seconds before changing lanes and then taking at least seven seconds to complete the lane change. Be sure to look at your mirrors throughout the process.
Construction zones often cause traffic delays, so if possible, leave earlier to give yourself more time to reach your destination in a safe manner.
What If I’m Injured in a Work Zone Crash?
If you or a loved one have sustained injures in a work zone crash, it is in your best interest to contact a skilled personal injury lawyer. The team of attorneys at Zinda Law Group have the experience and resources necessary to help you recover the compensation to which you may be entitled. Call us at 888-337-9042 for a free consultation about your case.