Whether you are headed out on the open road or are commuting to work, one of the last things you want to come upon is road construction. Road construction is a necessary evil that helps keep our roadways in good working condition. The fact is, however, that driving through road construction puts you at a much greater risk of being injured in a car accident. Fortunately, there are things that you can do to help you stay safe out there.
Work Zone Statistics
The Federal Highway Administration shares several important statistics related to work zone safety statistics, including:
- Traffic fatalities in work zones rose by 3 percent from 2016 to 2017 – while traffic fatalities outside of work zones decreased by 1.5 percent.
- From 2016 to 2017, the rate of pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities in work zones rose by 9 percent.
- Speed played a significant role in about one-quarter of all work zone fatalities in 2016 and 2017.
Plan Your Route
You can search online to find any planned road construction on your travel route before you head out, which allows you to plan accordingly. If there is significant road construction on the roadways you have chosen, it might be worth altering your route. Further, if you know you will be facing road construction on your way to work – or anywhere else – do not forget to build in additional driving time.
Keep Your Distance
Construction zones typically post decreased speed limits for one very good reason – to make traveling through the road construction safer for everyone. In addition to lowering your speed, however, it is important to allow a safe distance between your car and the one ahead of you. The thing about road construction is that the number of lanes is generally reduced, and the condition of the road is unpredictable. If someone driving ahead of you needs to come to a sudden stop, maintaining a safe distance can help you avoid a dangerous rear-end accident (the most prevalent accidents or our roadways).
When you drive, you take on the immense responsibility of helping to keep our roads safer for everyone, and this responsibility includes eschewing distractions. Distracted driving is dangerous driving, and road construction represents some of the most dangerous miles out there. When you are traveling through road construction, do not allow anything to distract you from your primary task of driving safely. The most prevalent distraction – and one of the most dangerous – is smartphone usage. Driving is no time to be hanging on your smartphone, and this is especially true when you are in a work zone.