Construction zones can increase the risk of accidents and injuries in Florida. Not only do these work zones have workers in close proximity to drivers, but there are typically lane changes, narrowed lanes and speed reductions that can take drivers by surprise if they are not paying attention. Drivers must stay alert and follow certain safety tips so everything remains accident and injury free.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, an average of 40,000 people receive injuries and 880 people die every year from crashes in construction zones. In regard to fatalities, they occur most frequently during summer and fall, they mostly occur on roads with speeds greater than 50 mph and drivers are most commonly the victims. Other accidents are typically due to rear-end crashes.
One way drivers can prevent accidents is to pay attention and keep distractions to a minimum. There are always signs to warn of upcoming work zones so drivers know what to expect, whether it is merging, two-way traffic or reduced speeds.
The Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association outlines other safety tips when driving in construction zones. Drivers should:
- Leave plenty of room between them and the car in front
- Turn on headlights for better visibility
- Pay attention to flag holders, construction equipment and other workers
- Avoid changing lanes
- Keep up with traffic flow but avoid speeding
- Be patient
- Move accidents from traffic if they are minor
Not only does following safety tips help prevent accidents, it also helps to decrease congestion in work zones and save time.