Summer is approaching in Cincinnati, and with it, drivers will notice a ubiquitous summertime feature on the roads: orange construction barrels. Road construction can be a headache for those driving through it, even if the end results of the construction are streets and highways that are better to drive on. However, driving in construction zones takes extra care, so that car accidents do not occur.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, over the past five years, 4,400 individuals lost their lives in construction zone accidents and 200,000 individuals suffered injuries in work zone accidents. Rear-end accidents were the most prevalent type of construction zone accident.
Most of the construction zone accidents that resulted in a fatality took place in the summer and autumn. In addition, most of the construction zone accidents that resulted in a fatality took place on roads where the posted speed limit was over 50 miles per hour.
With these sobering statistics in mind, it is important to take special care when driving in construction zones. First, drivers in construction zones need to keep their eyes on the road and avoid distractions, such as eating, tuning the radio or talking or texting on a cell phone.
It is also a good idea for drivers in construction zones to turn their headlights on, even during the day, so they are more visible. In addition, drivers in construction zones should heed traffic signs and flaggers, and pay attention to brake lights.
Merging early on, before the lane ends, and changing lanes only when permitted to is also the safe thing to do. And, drivers in construction zones should make sure to keep a safe distance between them and the vehicle in front of them, and should not tailgate. Speeding should also be avoided.
Finally, just be patient. Construction zones can be frustrating to drive through, but such frustration can quickly turn into a tragedy, should a fatal accident occur. It is best to drive with due care in construction zones, to keep oneself, other drivers and construction workers safe.