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Five tips for driving safely in construction work zones

Many people consider construction work to be one of the most dangerous jobs because of the numerous dangers workers face every day. This is certainly the case for road construction workers in North Carolina who have to contend with heavy construction equipment, flying debris and oftentimes narrow work areas next to busy roadways, just to name a few dangers.

most recent data available from the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration explains that in 2015 alone, more than 96,000 crashes occurred in construction zones across the nation. Of those, roughly 26 percent of crashes involved injuries while less than 1 percent involved a fatality.

With a work zone crash happening every 5.4 minutes in our country, we wanted to stress the importance of safe driving through construction zones and offer these simple tips:

  1. Leave room between you and the car in front of you. If the vehicle stops suddenly in front of you, you will need enough room to stop so you can avoid a potentially serious rear-end collision.
  2. Obey the posted speed limit. Driving too quickly through construction areas can lower your reaction time, which can easily result in collisions with barriers, work equipment, signs, other vehicles and even construction workers.
  3. Pay attention to the road and your surroundings. Look out for signs indicating lane changes, merges, road hazards and other issues as well as changes in the flow of traffic. Taking your eyes off the road for even a second in a construction zone can have fatal consequences in some cases.
  4. Give yourself extra time. Delays are to be expected through road construction areas, which is why it\’s important to give yourself extra time. Being in a rush can easily lead to a collision that will likely have far worse consequences than arriving late to your destination.
  5. Change lanes safely and appropriately. A lot of rear-end collisions and side swipes in construction work zones are caused by drivers who do not merge properly into traffic or cut over too quickly, which forces other drivers to slam on their breaks. This type of carelessness can be grounds for a civil action in the event of injury or wrongful death.

The big take away is that…

Every day in our country, 70 injury-causing crashes happen in work zones. We can help reduce this number by driving just a little safer through construction areas.

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