According to the National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse, 49.1% of worker fatalities in 2021 were due to workers getting struck by cars as they drove past road construction sites.
Construction zones on the road can be challenging to navigate, posing various risks. With narrowed lanes, changing traffic patterns and workers bustling about, it is important to stay vigilant to prevent accidents. There are a few tips that you can follow to ensure a safe journey as you travel through these areas.
Mind the signs and signals
Signs and signals designed to guide drivers through altered traffic patterns are present in all construction zones. Paying close attention to these indicators can provide important information about lane closures, speed reductions and potential detours. Failure to heed these warnings increases the risk of collisions. Stay alert, read and comprehend the signage, and adjust your driving accordingly.
Reduce speed and increase following distance
Speed limits in construction zones are not arbitrary; they are carefully set to accommodate the altered conditions. Reduce your speed as soon as you enter road work areas, giving yourself ample time to react to unexpected changes. Additionally, increase your following distance to account for sudden stops or slowdowns. This precautionary measure gives you the necessary space to respond to the movements of other vehicles and construction equipment, reducing the likelihood of rear-end collisions.
Stay in your designated lane
Construction zones often feature narrow or shifting lanes, demanding precision from drivers. Avoid unnecessary movement and stay within your designated lane to maintain a steady traffic flow. Sudden changes can lead to confusion and increase the chances of sideswipes or collisions. Patience and adherence to lane discipline are essential for a safe passage through these areas.
Be cautious around heavy machinery
Road work areas are buzzing with heavy machinery and equipment. Exercise extreme caution when navigating around these vehicles, as they may have limited visibility and restricted maneuverability. Give construction vehicles ample space and avoid lingering in their blind spots to minimize the risk of accidents.
By adopting these proactive measures, you can contribute to a safer environment whenever you encounter road construction areas.