Driving Safely through Road Construction
Central Texas sees its share of traffic and road construction. The fact is that driving through road construction is more dangerous than driving on the open road, and as such, it is important not to become complacent. When you find yourself in road construction, always adhere to the rules of the road and proceed with caution.
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) shares several significant statistics related to work zone safety:
- In 2017, there were more than 27,000 work zone accidents in Texas.
- Of those 27,000 accidents, 199 resulted in fatalities and 813 resulted in serious injuries.
- The leading causes of work zone accidents across the state are driver speed and driver inattention – both of which are completely preventable.
- Motorists account for 82 percent of fatalities in work zones.
Accidents in road construction sites happen; when you get behind the wheel of your car, always make driving safely your top priority.
Staying Safe in Road Construction
The TxDOT understands that road construction presents its own set of complications, and it provides its own suggestions for helping drivers stay safe when traveling through work zones:
- Watch your speed and adhere to the posted speed limit, which is prone to frequent changes. Speeding is closely linked to work zone accidents, and it bears mentioning that traffic fines double when workers are present.
- Pay attention to the construction workers and equipment all around you. In work zones, you may only be a few feet away from the actual construction; proceed with extreme caution.
- Look for, pay attention to, and follow all posted road construction signs, including lane changes, speed reductions, lanes that narrow, uneven or bumpy roadways, and more.
- Look for and obey flaggers.
- Leave ample room between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you (never tailgate).
- Avoid all distractions, including your smartphone.
- Plan your travel route ahead of time, and if you can avoid road construction, do so.
- If you will be traveling through road construction, build extra time into your schedule. Allowing yourself a few extra minutes is usually all it takes.
- If you come upon unexpected road construction, relax and remember that the safest and best plan is to slow down.
Road Construction Is Challenging
Road construction is definitely challenging, but as the great State of Texas continues to grow, it is something that all drivers must learn to contend with safely. When you find yourself driving in a work zone, slow down, ignore your phone, and proceed with caution.