Whether you’re driving to work or are on vacation, coming up on a work zone that backs up traffic is always a source of frustration. However, allowing that frustration to get the best of you could result in a nasty accident. And studies show that it’s drivers, not workers, who are injured or killed more often in work zone accidents, so you need to take special precautions when approaching road construction to ensure you don’t become an accident victim.
To avoid a construction zone accident, the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) recommends that drivers:
- Operate defensively by staying alert to all posted road signs, watching for workers or survey crews and following the instructions of flaggers who direct traffic through a construction zone. In a construction zone, the flagger has the same authority as a posted sign, so you could be cited if you fail to follow a flagger’s directions.
- Pay attention to upcoming bypass lanes, detours and new traffic patterns.
- Keep headlights on.
- Slow down and use extra caution when approaching a construction zone, and drive defensively by not trying to pass other vehicles and being watchful for changing road conditions.
- Merge into the proper lane well before you reach the lane closure and be aware that traffic patterns can change daily.
- Don’t tailgate. The most common work zone crash is the rear-end collision. Leave seven seconds of braking distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you.
- Only change lanes where pavement markers indicate and only when traffic conditions permit.
- Do not resume normal speed until you see posted road signs that say it is safe to do so.
- Plan for traffic delays by leaving early in order to reach your destination on time.
- Above all, be patient -- so everyone can arrive home safely.
The attorneys of Roberts & Roberts have the skill, experience and resources to fully investigate any serious accident or death. If you have a question about an accident involving a serious injury or fatality, please call 800-248-6000 or contact us for a free consultation.