When there are workers on the road, it can be difficult for drivers. It can cause delays, as well as frustratiion, for those who are trying to get to work or run errands. Anyone can experience the feeling of impatience during a traffic jam in a work zone, which can actually cause harm to the people on the road. In 2014 alone, there were 669 deaths and 30,500 injuries caused by auto accidents that took place in work areas.
However, driving in a work zone does not have to be full of stress. As long as you are mindful of everything going on around you, including other cars and workers, you can do your part to keep the streets safe for everyone. If you have to drive in a work zone on a regular basis, there are a few things that you should keep in mind in order to make the streets as safe as possible and minimize stress for yourself and others.
When you are going into a work zone, you should make sure that you are able to handle the unexpected. In work zones, situations can often change quickly and unexpectedly. The traffic could unexpectedly come to a stop or slow down, workers and equipment can go into the road, traffic lanes could end up merging, et cetera. Stay mindful and be prepared for all these sorts of events. Also, make sure to stay with the speed limit even if you do not actually see construction going on at the time, as more than a third of fatal accidents in these work zones are precipitated by speeding drivers. Make sure that you pay attention and follow the orders of road signs and road crew flaggers, as they are there to help drivers navigate safely through work zones. Also, make sure that you keep a safe following distance between you and other cars, as rear-end collisions are responsible for about 30 percent of accidents in work zones. Make sure to keep a good distance between you and workers/equipment as well.
Once you have seen that you are in a work zone, be mindful of what is going on around you and maintain a safe driving speed. Keep your attention fully on the road, and avoid multitasking; this is especially important in a work zone, which is full of activity and carries more potential for accidents. Make sure that you keep up with the traffic as well; do not slow down or allow yourself to be distracted by the road work.
If possible, the safest thing to do is to avoid work zones completely. However, if you have to drive through them, there are a few things you can do before even getting into the car. You can plan ahead, checking the traffic reports and looking at all of the available resources on your smartphone if you have one. You can also make sure to leave early, so that you have a few extra minutes in your schedule that will permit any delays caused in the work zone. Also, try to be patient, keeping in mind that the crews are there to improve the roads and make them safer for everyone.