Are there construction zones popping up throughout your hometown? While this can be a good sign of helpful road improvements in the future, they can also cause hazards in the here and now. Most drivers get apprehensive when driving through a construction zone because they know there is an inherently higher risk of getting into a car accident. If you have been worried about getting into a crash in the construction zones around your town or highways, then there are a few basic safety tips you should know.
Keep a Safe Distance
In ideal roadway conditions, you should keep a three-to-five second distance between yourself and the vehicle ahead of you. In a construction zone, where there can be sudden hazards and stops, it pays to increase that following distance to six seconds or longer. Keep in mind that slowing down too much can cause a driving danger itself, so be mindful of the traffic flow.
Look for Workers Nearby
When you approach a construction zone, you might not see any workers at first. Construction zones at night can look particularly empty in the dark, even though they are not. Always assume that there is a worker somewhere near the road who is paying more attention to their own job duties than passing traffic.
Without distracting yourself too much, scan the area around you for any signs of a worker. Ideally, all workers will have bright yellow or orange safety vests, making them stand out clearly from the scene around them.
Listen to Flaggers
Construction workers who are in charge of directing traffic through a construction zone are called flaggers because they often carry bright flags. The flags are waved to stop traffic, point to a detour, and so forth. Not all construction zones require a flagger, but, when there is one present, you need to listen to them.
Flaggers know what is happening in the construction zone around them, which is information you do not have. If they tell you to stop and you can’t tell why, then it is probably due to there being a piece of heavy equipment being moved through the area soon.
Construction along the highway will often close multiple lanes of traffic in both directions. There are some places where a four-lane highway goes down to just one lane due to construction projects.
Keep an eye out for signs instructing you to merge due to a lane coming to an early end ahead. Merge when it is safe instead of waiting for your last opportunity. By driving until your lane ends, you could get stuck facing a wall with nowhere to go. If another driver behind you is not paying attention, then the risk of being in a rear-end accident will dramatically increase.
Shut Off Distractions
Give yourself a fair chance at avoiding an accident by removing all distractions from your vehicle when you approach a construction zone. Obviously, you should not be using your smartphone. Less obviously, though, are auditory distractions caused by music and passengers. Turn off your radio and ask others in your car to keep talking to a minimum so you can listen to flaggers and for any sudden signs of danger.
Pratt Clay, LLC is a law firm marked by national experience and a local reputation for excellence. If you were in a construction zone accident in Atlanta or the surrounding area, please let us know so we can see if we can help you pursue damages against the construction company or another driver that hit you. Call 404-566-9460 or contact us online to begin with a free consultation.