If you are zooming along on the highway and all of a sudden begin to see construction work zone signs, you begin to prepare yourself for the potential delays that you may encounter. What you may not be prepared for is the increased risk you are at for potentially being involved in an automobile accident. In 2010, there were more than 87,000 accidents that occurred in these locations. While you may not be able to totally eliminate this risk, by being mindful of the some of the factors that cause these accidents, you may be able to reduce your chances of being a statistic.
When you speed in a work zone, you put numerous people at risk of injury. These include:
- Your passengers
- Other drivers
- Workers working the zone and others
Speeding in a work zone is not only dangerous, but it is also illegal. Although you can get a ticket for going over the speed limit on any stretch of the road, fines for speeding in construction zones are much higher and depending on where you live, these could actually result you having to serve jail time. These penalties vary from state to state, but these fines are often double the original amount or more. In some states, such as Pennsylvania, if you are going more than 11 miles over the posted speed in a work zone, you may be looking at a 15 day suspension of your driver's license in additional to the accumulation of three driving points on your license.
Slow down when you enter a work zone, and try to stay in the lane that is the furthest from where the construction is taking place. This will reduce the chances of injury to any workers who may be working in the zone.
There are many things that vie for your attention when you are behind the wheel. Some of these are:
- Cell phones
- Food and drink
- Other passengers and more
All of these can distract you and cause you to take your eyes off of the road long enough for you to be involved in an accident. Distracted driving can be potentially fatal for everyone involved, and this was the cause of more than 3,100 traffic fatalities in 2014 alone. Distracted driving is dangerous no matter where it occurs, but it is even more dangerous in work zones. When you are distracted, it reduces the amount of time you have to react to slowing, stopping, or merging traffic, lane changes, construction equipment, and more. Stay alert anytime you are behind the wheel, and especially when you are in a work zone.
Following Too Close
Not only do you need to slow down and pay attention when you enter a work zone, you need to put extra space between you and the vehicle in front of you. This will give you extra time to stop when the vehicle in front of you slows down, stops, or swerves to avoid a road hazard that you may not be able to see. By putting more space between you and the driver in front of you, you will be able to drive more defensively, which may keep you from making last minute maneuvers. This may reduce your chances of being involved in an accident with the driver behind you.
If you have been involved in an accident in a work or construction zone that was determined to be your fault or the fault of another driver, do not hesitate in contacting an auto accident or personal injury lawyer. They will be able to review the facts of your specific case and give you the best advice on how to proceed.