How to Stay Safe and Avoid a Construction Zone Accident
Every summer the nation’s highways are reduced by a lane or two as they’re repaired, resurfaced, and made better for our transportation needs. It’s estimated that 20% of highways are under construction on any given year.
Here in Texas, there are thousands of workers updating the roads. And whenever traffic is congested, speeds reduced, and workers around, it means those who insist on driving distracted, dangerously, or drunk, are going to get in a construction zone accident.
But that doesn’t excuse those driving the big construction vehicles from minding their driving either.
Both parties should be on the lookout when navigating a construction zone. Here’s how you, the passenger vehicle, can have a heads up to prevent an unwanted collision.
How to Avoid a Construction Zone Accident
Driving means keeping an eye out and expecting the unexpected. In a construction zone, you have to remain even more diligent.
Slow Down Before the Zone
The leading cause of accidents in a construction zone is speed. The unfortunate fact is that most of the victims are the workers that aren’t protected by a vehicle, and they are struck while just trying to do their job.
Before you enter the construction zone, reduce your speed. Be aware that vehicles whipping by are not only dangerous, but they’re also distracting and irritating.
Not to mention that if a worker pulls out in front of you, expecting you to be going much slower than you are, it could mean a nasty collision.
Watch for Foot Traffic
Some construction workers will be in heavy machinery, but many of them will be on foot. It’s not just the worker holding the “slow” sign that is in harm’s way.
Be aware of all the construction workers that aren’t driving anywhere. And know that the human body is often clumsy and fragile. They can stumble, fall, or drop something into the lane if they’re close enough.
Pay Attention to the Big Rigs
Most of these trucks and heavy equipment are moving pretty slowly. But that doesn’t mean they can’t pull out in front of you, swerve into your lane, or stall at just the wrong moment.
Keep an eye out as you drive through these zones and make a note of the direction the equipment is moving long before you get there. If it looks like it’s coming into your lane, be prepared to stop or get out of the way.
Check Above You
Often construction means working on bridges and overpasses. Large cranes are moving heavy objects from ground level, up to locations sometimes far above the roadway.
While equipment failure is not common, and rarely will a crane drop a steal beam onto a vehicle below, other falling objects can have just as deadly effects without as much force. What would happen if a hammer crashed through your windshield as you’re cruising along?
Don’t Ignore other Drivers
Construction workers are trained to watch for vehicles and pay attention to their surroundings. They know what needs to be done to avoid a construction zone accident.
But most drivers have minimal driver’s education. And even those that have taken the classes only have a small portion of the time in class dedicated to driving in these zones.
The biggest danger in a construction zone is actually the fellow drivers around you. Those that have their nose buried in their phone and don’t see the construction coming up. Those that think the speed limit is too slow and want to zip through faster. Those that have had a night out drinking and believe that having a few drinks and driving home is perfectly safe.
Do your part so that you can avoid negligent drivers, and avoid a terrible construction zone accident.
Come to Herbert & Eberstein if You’ve Been in a Construction Zone Accident
Accidents do happen.
People make mistakes.
If you have been injured in an accident that happened in a construction zone, especially if the construction company was found to be at fault, then we want to talk to you.
Fill out the contact form, or give us a call at 214-414-3808, and we’ll conduct your free initial consultation. No worries about signing up as a client, we first want to make sure we can help you heal from your injuries.