As a personal injury attorneys serving Wisconsin, we know firsthand that our state has two seasons: winter and construction. As the snow melts, orange cones and warning signs start to appear on highways and roads across the state, indicating that work zones are in place. Whether you’re a commuter, a traveler or just someone out on the road, it’s essential to prioritize safety during these times.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, there are nearly 2,000 work zone crashes every year in our state. To help you navigate these zones safely, we’ve compiled a list of important safety tips to keep in mind.
Construction Safety Tips
One of the most important safety tips for driving through a work zone is always to pay attention. Work zones can be chaotic and unpredictable with workers and heavy equipment often in close proximity to passing vehicles. Pay attention to all warning signs posted in the work zone, including speed limit reductions, lane closures and other traffic advisories. These signs are there to help you navigate the area safely and avoid potential hazards. And remember to continue observing the posted signs until you see the one that lets you know you have left the work zone.
Expect the Unexpected
It's crucial to expect the unexpected, as traffic patterns and lane configurations can change suddenly and without warning in these zones. You may encounter new obstacles, such as barriers or heavy equipment, that were not present the last time you drove through the area. Workers may also be present, either on or near the roadway, performing maintenance or construction activities. This can make it difficult to navigate through the area safely, especially when you are not prepared for these changes. By expecting the unexpected, you can stay alert and focused on the road anticipating potential hazards and taking appropriate action to avoid them.
Put Down Distractions
Distracted driving is a major cause of accidents in work zones and on the road in general. Even a moment of inattention can lead to a serious accident, especially in areas with changing traffic patterns and reduced speeds. That's why it's so important to put down distractions and dedicate your full attention to the roadway. Avoid using your cellphone, playing with the radio or engaging in any other activity that takes your attention away from the task of driving. If you need to make a call or send a message, pull over to a safe location outside of the work zone. Remember that the safety of workers, other drivers and yourself depends on your full attention to the road.
Slow Down and Obey Signs
Slowing down and obeying posted signs is crucial for ensuring safe travel through work zones. Speeding is one of the most common causes of work zone accidents and can result in fines and other legal consequences. Remember that fines double in work zones, so it's essential to pay attention to your speed and follow the posted limits.
Plan Ahead and Expect Delays
To avoid being late to your destination or getting caught in traffic, it's essential to leave a few minutes early and plan your route accordingly. Check websites and radio stations for traffic updates before you leave, so you can anticipate any delays and adjust your travel plans as needed. By planning ahead and expecting delays, you can ensure a safe and stress-free journey through any work zone.
Stay Calm and Be Patient
Remember, workers are trying to improve the road and make your future drives better. We know it can be very frustrating, but it only takes a few extra minutes to slow down for a work zone.
Do Not Tailgate
Tailgating is one of the most dangerous behaviors a driver can engage in, especially in a highway work zone. With workers and heavy equipment in close proximity to passing vehicles, it's essential to maintain a safe distance between your car and the vehicle ahead. Rear-end collisions are the most common type of accident in work zones and they can be especially devastating at high speeds. Tailgating can also lead to fines and other legal consequences.
Keep Up With Traffic Flows
Keeping up with the flow of traffic is essential for ensuring safe and efficient travel through work zones. When you approach a lane closure or merge area, it's important to follow the posted signs and merge into the open lane as soon as possible. Don't wait until the last minute to merge, as this can cause unnecessary delays and increase the risk of accidents. Additionally, never try to cut in line or squeeze into a closed lane at the last minute. This not only puts you and other drivers at risk, but also slows down traffic and can lead to frustration and road rage.
Injured in an Accident?
At Hupy and Abraham, we are committed to reducing preventable accidents. Unfortunately, no matter how safe you try to be, accidents do happen. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident while driving in a construction zone, or anywhere else, the car accident attorneys at Hupy and Abraham are here to help. Contact us at 800-800-5678 for a free consultation or start a live chat any time at Hupy.com