No one likes driving through a construction zone. We see the orange barrels, flashing arrows, and signs telling us that lanes are closed and our bodies clench. Construction on Florida’s highways can cause major headaches for commuters and tourists alike.
As Miami car accident attorneys, we know that it is imperative that you drive as safely as possible when you hit a construction zone. It’s not only for your safety, but for the safety of every worker on the side of the road.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Highway Safety Administration, there were more than 96,000 accidents in construction zones in 2015. Not all of these crashes led to fatalities, but 73% of them ended with damage to at least one vehicle. The majority of the crashes happened during daylight hours.
Looking at these statistics, it’s easy to see that your chances of being involved in a construction zone accident are high enough to be concerning. You may be able to avoid such an accident if you follow these tips.
You will see plenty of signage before you come upon a construction or work zone. When you see the signs, it’s time to slow down. Start looking out for machinery, obstacles, and workers. Watch for any signs that tell you a lane is closed ahead, and merge as soon as you are able to do so safely.
Don’t be that driver who waits until the last minute to try to merge. Not only is it dangerous, but it’s sure to amp up your stress level and the stress of those sharing the road with you.
Once you see orange barrels or cones, pay close attention. They are going to tell you which lane to be in and even which alternative path to follow. These cones don’t just block travel; they tell you where your car needs to be.
Again, don’t wait until the last moment to move over if that’s what you need to do. Move over or merge into traffic as early as you can do so safely.
Keep an eye open for flaggers. You may not see them on highways, but you will likely see them on side and rural roads that are in the midst of construction. Not only should you slow down when you see a flagger, but continue at a low speed as you pass them.
These men and women are often in the middle of the road with no protection other than a hard hat and brightly-colored vest.
Large machines are often used in construction zones. You may see dump trucks, large tractors, backhoes, and rollers. You may even see cranes and other large vehicles.
You might not be able to avoid getting near them, but do try to steer as clear as is safe. Move over slightly to give the powerful vehicles room.
You may be tempted to check your cell phone. You might try to get that report read. Maybe you think you have time to touch up your makeup or eat the last bite of your breakfast.
Distracted driving is a problem across the country, but it can be even more dangerous if you are passing through a work zone. Stay alert and keep your attention focused on the road ahead and the workers that are there.
You’re going to lose your patience if you aren’t careful. Someone around you is going to make a maneuver you find annoying. You’re going to get irritated by the congestion. You’re human and yes, you’re going to sweat the small stuff.
One of the best things you can do in a construction zone is to take a few deep breaths, realize that there is nothing you can do about your situation, and deal with it calmly. If you allow yourself to get too worked up, you are going to make some risky maneuvers of your own.
Take a few deep breaths when you feel your blood pressure rising. It sounds simple, but deep breathing really does help to relax you.
One of the stressors of being stuck in a construction zone, especially during rush hour, is the knowledge that you are going to end up being late for work, school, or your appointment. If you know that there is construction along your normal route, leave home earlier.
Giving yourself extra time will help you feel more at ease. You may also want to look for an alternate route that will take you away from the work zone. Driving on back roads may add time to your commute, but at least you’ll be making forward progress.
Construction zones are a hassle. Losing your patience can be deadly. Use the tips above if you are looking for ways to drive safely through a work zone. If you drive recklessly, you not only run the risk of injuring yourself but someone just trying to make it to the end of their shift.
If you or a loved one are injured in a construction zone collision, you need a car accident lawyer in Miami. Call our office today to schedule your free case evaluation. Our team is here for you around the clock and ready to put our experience to work on your behalf — because justice never sleeps. We will fight for what you deserve and won’t settle for less.