In any large city, there’s always at least one road that’s under construction. Driving through these areas can be very different from general driving because of changes made, slower speed limits, obstacles to worry about, and more. If you need to drive through a construction zone, keep the following tips in mind to stay as safe as possible during your drive and to avoid being in an accident or having your vehicle damaged.
Expect Anything to Happen
It’s important to be aware that anything can change in a construction zone. Depending on what is being worked on, lanes can change and there may be people or vehicles very close to the road while they’re working. Always avoid any distractions while driving in a construction zone to be aware of what’s happening and what has changed to avoid being in a wreck. Remember, even if you drove down the road yesterday, because of the ongoing construction, the lane might have been temporarily moved over or there could be construction equipment closer to the road that you’ll need to avoid. Paying close attention to what’s going on allows you to be prepared and stop in time if anything happens in front of your vehicle.
Slow Down and Increase Following Distance
It’s important to keep a safe following distance at all times while driving. The amount of space needed depends on the speed of the road as well as the driving conditions. When you’re going through a construction zone, increase the following speed just like you would if it was raining or there were other unsafe conditions on the road. Leave yourself more time to stop if you need to stop suddenly. Because workers are often very close to the road, slow down to be prepared for anything. You won’t want to be too close to the vehicle in front of you if they need to slam on their brakes because they weren’t paying attention and didn’t see the need to stop in time. If you’re following too close, you could end up hitting the vehicle in front of you.
Always Follow Directions from Flaggers
The flaggers are the people who are holding flags or signs to stop traffic in one direction when both directions need to share the same lane. If the road is narrowed to a single lane, it’s important to make sure to follow the flagger’s instructions at all times. Failing to do this could lead to safety issues and could mean you’re more likely to get in an accident with oncoming traffic or with large construction vehicles that may be entering or exiting the road. Always look for flaggers when driving through construction zones to ensure you see them in time to stop if needed.
It can seem almost impossible to avoid driving through construction zones at some point. While these are intended to improve driving conditions, it is more dangerous in these zones than it might normally be on the road because of the people working close to the road as well as the large construction vehicles. However, by following these tips, you should be able to drive safely through any construction zone and avoid being in an accident. The key to remember is to slow down and pay attention to what’s happening around you.