In some states, summertime means construction time. However, in California there may be work zones all year around. In populated areas of the state, this can be an irritation as well as a source of more accidents. Because of the risks these zones present, it is important that drivers remain alert and aware and take precautions to make sure they, and others, are safe on the road.
The Texas Department of Insurance outlines some of the dangers construction zones, also known as work or cone zones, present. These zones often have numerous cones, barrels and signs, and many of them have either lane changes or reduced lanes. All of this means that there are more hazards and less space for drivers to maneuver in. As a result, the most common types of crashes are rear-end collisions. Fatal accidents happen most frequently in zones in which speed limits are over 50 mph, and drivers are more likely to die than the workers themselves.
To help combat both minor and serious accidents, the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration discusses some safety tips. A big one is for drivers to pay attention to signs that warn about upcoming work zones as well as to those in the construction areas. Drivers should also be alert and aware of other vehicle operators’ brake lights and speed changes.
Drivers should merge early on and only change lanes when it is appropriate to do so. Other tips include keeping headlights on, staying a safe distance from other vehicles and workers, following the flagger’s instructions and being patient.