Nobody really thinks about this, but with the summer coming up, we thought an article on avoiding work zone collisions might be in order. When you hear the phrase ‘highway work zone safety,’ images come to mind? Orange cones, flashing lights, and barriers might be part of what comes to mind. Or maybe you imagine construction flaggers, one-lane traffic, and ‘reduced speed’ signs. According to the Federal Highway Commission, work zone collisions are also a big part of the equation. Over a thousand people die in work zone collisions each year. Forty thousand become injured in these same kinds of accidents.
Many people assume that work zone laws are put in place to keep construction workers safe. Or that the road crew workers are the only ones who die in accidents. However, statistics show a majority of work zone fatalities are actually drivers. Following work zone safety tips can increase safety for everyone and help reduce the number of work zone collisions on both sides of the barrel.
Work Zone Safety Facts
Most work zone collisions:
• Happen in the summer and the fall
• Involve adults who are working age
• Occur at speed limits over 50 miles per hour
• Happen on state highways
Ways Drivers Can Increase Work Zone Safety
Construction companies train workers in safety procedures. This is one of the reasons why drivers and not highway workers are the cause of most work zone related crashes. Unfortunately, most motorists are not versed in how to make sure a work zone collision doesn’t happen. Embracing the following tips can help drivers increase work zone safety for themselves and those who repair roadways for a living.
Work Zone Safety Tip #1 Plan Ahead
One of the best ways to avoid accidents in work areas is to avoid these zones altogether. Planning ahead can help you find alternative routes and steer clear of likely-collision areas. Many smartphone apps can make the process of finding a safer way to get from point A to B easier like Waze and Citymapper. Give yourself extra travel time so that you won’t be in a rush.
Work Zone Safety Tip #2 Slow Down and Be Patient
If you have no choice but to travel into an area where highway workers are present, one of the best ways to avoid an accident is to reduce your speed. Most accidents in work zones are rear-end collisions. Driving slowly decreases the likelihood of this occurring. This might seem like a ‘no-brainer.’ However, many drivers become both impatient and break speed limit laws regardless of the risk. Obeying the speed limits posted in work zones can greatly reduce the possibility of a collision.
Work Zone Safety Tip #3 Minimize Distractions
Construction and road work areas have workers whose sole responsibility it is to help drivers navigate through. Watch them carefully and pay attention to their signals. Minimize all distractions that might stop you from giving full attention to the road crew. No eating, texting, calling, or changing radio stations while in a work zone.
Work Zone Safety Tip #4 Merge as Soon as Possible
Many of the accidents that happen in a construction zone occur because of improper lane merging. When drivers fail to merge at the right time, collisions happen. Don’t be the driver who sees the ‘lane closed ahead sign’ but refuses to merge until the last few feet. Moving over into the correct lane as soon as possible protects both you and your passengers from possible injury.
Work Zone Safety Tip #5 Drive Defensively
When two vehicles collide, it is rare that both drivers are at fault. Even if you follow all of the work zone safety tips listed above, you are still at risk of being hit by a careless driver. To reduce this possibility, learn as much as possible about defensive driving. Defensive driving is a learned skill-set that allows drivers to defend themselves against possible collisions.
In the off chance that you are still involved in an accident after embracing the work zone safety guidelines above, call Orlando Auto Body at 480-428-2783.