Even though road work is necessary to build and improve infrastructure, construction zones can be hazardous places for drivers and their passengers. In fact, between 1982 and 2017, more than 27,000 Americans died in car accidents in stretches of road construction.
Construction zones often have narrower lanes, reworked traffic patterns, busy workers and other potentially dangerous obstacles for drivers to overcome. To increase your chances of passing through road construction without incident, take the following three steps.
1. Reduce your speed
Arguably, the most effective way to stay safe in construction areas is to reduce your car’s speed. While construction zones often have lower speed limits, you must drive a safe speed for road conditions. Traveling slower also increases the time you have to respond to an unexpected event.
2. Extend your following distance
Even though tailgating is typically a bad idea, doing so in a construction zone may be particularly dangerous. After all, the vehicles in front of yours may slow or stop suddenly. Adding an additional car length or two gives you extra time to maneuver your vehicle safely.
3. Pay attention to signs and flaggers
Construction workers are usually good at warning drivers about construction-related matters. Before entering the construction zone, read posted signs to know what to expect. Then, pay close attention to the flagger’s instructions until you reach the end of the construction zone.
If you drive during the summer, you undoubtedly encounter road construction. By thinking about staying safe before you driving into a construction area, you do your part to keep yourself, your passengers, other drivers and construction workers safe.