How to Safely Drive Through Work Zones

by Staff | September 7th, 2020

Every day, thousands of vehicles drive over the same stretches of interstates and highways in Indiana. Inevitably, those roads need maintenance, repairs, and upgrades. When that happens, work crews may block off entire lanes for weeks or months at a time.

Many drivers view work zones as nothing more than inconveniences and time wasters, but they’re essential to keeping traffic flowing. Unfortunately, they’re also dangerous to drivers and workers.

Work Zones Are Dangerous for Everyone

According to the Indiana Department of Labor, there are 40,000 crashes in work zones every year, and three people are killed daily in work zones across America.

If you drive through a work zone during your daily commute, it may be the most dangerous part of your day. That’s why it’s essential to follow a few important tips to reduce your risks and the risks you pose to workers and other drivers.

Follow These Tips to Stay Safe in Work Zones

Work zones can be anxiety-inducing for even the most experienced drivers. Lanes are narrow, there’s less room to maneuver, and you may not know what’s around the next corner. Keeping these tips in mind can help you smoothly navigate work zones:

  • Slow down—Speed limits in work zones are often much lower than they are on other parts of the roadway. Reducing your speed is one of the most important things you can do to improve your safety.
  • Leave plenty of distance—One of the most common causes of work zone crashes is following another vehicle too closely. Because lanes are often narrow and may be reduced in number, congestion can be greater. That means drivers may have less time to react when drivers in front of them slow down.
  • Avoid distractions—Just as you would while driving anywhere else, do your best to avoid distractions. That means no talking on the phone, no texting, and keeping your eyes on the road.
  • Be prepared for the unexpected—Work zones can be dangerous because of their unpredictability. They may feature sudden lane shifts, lane closures, sharp turns, or even stops. In addition, work-related vehicles may be entering or exiting them.
  • Follow instructions from workers—Closing lanes and using barrels and cones isn’t always enough to route traffic around or through a work zone. If flaggers are present, watch them closely and do as they say to avoid causing a collision.
  • Take detours when they’re available—Sometimes work zones result in significant delays. When that’s the case, using an alternate route can get you to your destination faster and put you at less risk of being involved in or causing a crash.
  • Read the signs—Signs often tell you everything you need to know about a work zone. You’ll see how far away it is from your location, its speed limit, whether it has lane closures, when you need to merge, whether workers are present, and much more.

We Help People Injured in Work Zone Crashes

Police and state troopers often watch work zones closely because of the risks they pose to drivers, passengers, and workers. The reduced speed limits are often strictly enforced, and fines are significantly higher. However, those consequences don’t always deter negligent driving in work zones.

When careless drivers cause crashes in work zones, it’s our job to help the victims get maximum compensation. If you or someone you love was hurt in a work zone crash, contact the Indiana auto accident lawyers at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin today. We’re the experienced legal advocates you need on your side.

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