Construction zones can be confusing and dangerous if you are not paying attention. Also, if you happen to get in an accident or are ticketed while driving through one of these areas, then the fine may be doubled. Therefore, it is necessary to be aware of the added cautions that exist and to adjust your driving to suit the zone.
1. Look for Signs
The first thing you will want to do is look for any signs that inform you of specific instructions. For example, you will likely find signs that list reduced speed limits. Also, look for signs that warn of the type of work being done, which will inform you of workers and other potential issues.
2. Slow Down
Next, slow down. The listed reduced speed is not a suggestion, and if you are found to be driving over that stated speed limit, then you can be ticketed. If there is no reduced speed limit sign, then reduce your speed regardless. Construction zones are unpredictable environments, making slower speeds mandatory.
3. Pay Attention to Barrels and Cones
A common visual at construction sites is the presence of barrels and cones. These often-orange contraptions are placed to represent lane changes and work zone barriers. However, if you are not paying close attention, it is easy to get confused, especially in extensive construction areas.
4. Don’t Tailgate
Tailgating or riding someone’s bumper is often seen in heavy traffic, and it should be avoided, especially in construction zones. Heavy traffic situations often include frequent braking, and this is only increased in construction zones. However, unlike normal traffic conditions, when braking can have a certain rhythm and expectation, construction sites are not so predictable, which can lead to accidents.
5. Eliminate Distractions
While you may enjoy having conversations or listening to the stereo when you drive, you should avoid these behaviors through construction areas. As these areas are highly unpredictable, it is necessary to eliminate all distractions so you may remain focused on the road and traffic.
6. Be Patient
Last, be patient. Construction sites are congested work zones, and work will typically occur on busy roadways due to the increased wear and use. While it can be frustrating to wait in traffic, getting angry or upset will not get you anywhere faster. If you do not want to sit in traffic, then try finding an alternative route until the work is completed.
Construction zones are potentially dangerous areas, which is why it is necessary to slow down, limit distractions and pay attention. However, accidents still happen. If you get in an accident while driving through a construction zone, then contact an auto accident lawyer in Des Moines, IA for assistance.
Thanks to Johnston Martineau, LLP for their insight into personal injury claims and driving safely in construction zones.