Driving in work zones can prove to be extremely hazardous to drivers. The U.S. Department of Transportation reports that, over the past 5 years, 4,400 people have died and around 200,000 more were injured in work zone crashes. They also reported that drivers are most frequently killed in work zone crashes.
In order to be prepared for avoiding accidents in work zones, here are some quick tips to keep you safe on the road.
Be Alert While Driving
It’s easy to lose focus when you’re on a long road trip and you slowly become less aware of what’s going on around you. You may enter a work zone quickly and all of a sudden the speed limit and traffic patterns have changed completely.
When you’re driving, make sure that you’re always paying close attention to the road and the other cars around you in case you quickly approach a work zone.
Don’t Drive While Distracted
People make small movements to change the radio station or look for something in their car while driving. While this may not seem like a big deal, just a second or two of being distracted by something in your car can lead you to having an accident.
Don’t look away from the road while changing radio stations while you’re driving, and avoid trying to find various objects in your car. Also, most importantly, never text and drive. A two-word text message isn’t worth the grief that will be felt by your loved ones after a distracted driving accident.
Obey the Speed Limit
It’s common for people to want to go a little faster than the speed limit while driving since it’s fairly common on highways. However, you should always drive at the speed limit because they have been put in place to show the safest speed at which you should drive. On top of that, if you speed in a work zone, you may be fined heavily.
When you drive by a speed limit sign on the highway, just take a quick glance at your speedometer to make sure that you’re driving at a safe speed.
Be Careful When Merging
There can be a lot of close calls with other vehicles when you’re merging into another lane. Blind spots in your rearview mirrors can put you in a dangerous situation if you don’t double-check if there are cars around you while you merge.
To avoid any accidents, be very aware of the cars around you when you’re merging. Traffic patterns can change daily, and sometimes merge signs come up sooner than you think, so always check the signs around you while you’re driving. Also make sure that you’re that you’re merging when the paving markings show that you’re allowed to do so.
Workers and vehicles might move around unexpectedly in a work zone, and you need to always be on the lookout for any possible hazards. Vehicles might block off lanes on the highway, or they may start putting cones in a lane that will force you to merge into another lane. This is common in work zones, so you should always expect something about traffic to be different when you’re entering one.