Safety Tips for Driving in Construction Zones Around Louisville, KY
Roadside construction is a necessary risk in Kentucky. Highway construction zones are unavoidable to repair damaged roads and keep them safe. While a construction project is ongoing, however, drivers can be at risk of car accidents related to the work zone itself. As summertime arrives and more construction projects begin in Kentucky, follow these safety tips for driving in construction zones.
In 2019, 842 people lost their lives in work zone fatalities. This was an 11 percent increase from 2018. Many of these fatal car accidents took place when a driver was speeding. Speeding can make a driver lose control of a vehicle, especially in a dangerous and unpredictable environment such as a construction zone. Be patient and reduce your speed when nearing a roadside construction zone, as this can allow you to react to a dangerous situation in time to prevent a collision.
Increase Your Following Distance
In dangerous conditions, such as work zones, it is your responsibility as a driver to change your driving habits accordingly. You must drive in a reasonable manner to prevent a car accident. This may mean increasing your following distance to allow yourself more time to hit the brakes if the driver in front of you stops unexpectedly. Increasing your following distance is always a good tactic to prevent car accidents in unsafe conditions.
Read the Signs
Watch for bright orange signs that warn drivers of an upcoming construction zone. Read what they say and heed their warnings. If they tell you to slow down, slow down. If they tell you to watch for workers, keep an eye out for workers who are too close to the road. Construction companies will usually post signage explaining when the construction zone starts, when the zone ends, the amount of traffic delay to expect, and whether or not you need to take a detour. Pay attention to other elements of the work zone, as well, such as orange traffic cones, an officer directing traffic or temporary traffic control devices.
Watch for Workers
Roadside construction zones are even more dangerous for construction workers than they are for drivers. It is critical to keep a careful eye out for workers when passing through a construction zone in Kentucky. Although workers should do their best to stay out of the road, it is your responsibility as a driver to pay attention, maintain control of your vehicle, and keep an adequate amount of space between your vehicle and roadside workers.
If you can, move into the next lane over when approaching a construction vehicle parked on the side of the road or workers walking alongside the roadway. Reduce your speed and carefully merge into the lane next to you when it is safe to do so. This can give construction workers the space that they need to perform their jobs while feeling safe and comfortable. If you cannot move into another lane, reduce your speed instead.
Finally, give your full attention to the driving task when passing through a construction zone. Avoid distractions such as your cell phone, the radio, a GPS and distractions outside of the cab, such as the bright lights of the construction zone or billboards. Driving while distracted drastically increases the risk of a construction zone accident.
Stay vigilant and aware of your surroundings. Expect the unexpected, as things are constantly changing in construction zones. Watch out for warning signs, tractors and heavy machinery pulling out onto the road, equipment left too close to the road, workers walking around, a sudden detour, loose gravel or rubble, and uneven shoulders.
If you do get into a car accident in a construction zone in Kentucky, don’t hesitate to contact a car accident lawyer near you for a legal consultation. You may need assistance filing an insurance claim or injury lawsuit against a third party, such as another driver or a construction company.