How to Drive Safely (and Legally) in a Construction Zone
Whether it’s a small rural area or a major highway, road construction is always going on in various areas throughout the country.
You may notice signs telling you that fines are higher if you’re caught speeding in a construction zone, and that’s because these areas present a higher risk of danger.
Before you hit the roadways, read this helpful guide that covers the basics of how you can drive safely and legally through a construction zone to avoid a ticket and an accident.
Pay Extremely Close Attention to the Speed Limit
In a construction zone, the speed limit is usually reduced significantly. There should be signs indicating that the speed limit is changing ahead, and several more as you drive through the construction area.
Depending on where you are, fines for speeding in these areas can be as high as $500 or more. That’s because the risk of getting involved in a serious accident is much greater in construction areas.
Construction and road workers could be just feet away from where you’re driving, and if you’re roaring through, it presents a serious danger. Some jurisdictions will double the fine for speeding in a construction zone.
Even if the signs indicate a specific speed limit, you should be prepared to slow down even more if you need to. Wet roads, heavy traffic, or night time driving are all reasons to slow down even more.
Obey Posted Signs in a Construction Zone
Traffic patterns are constantly changing during highway construction, so it’s crucial to be aware of these changes whenever possible. You can avoid getting into legal trouble if you obey all signs and the speed limit.
Look closely for any lane changes or merges as you’re driving so you can be ready to adapt. If you’re caught blatantly disobeying signs, it’s a separate fine and ticket that can cost you big time.
The purpose of signs is to keep you and the workers safe. Accidents are the leading cause of highway construction safety issues and the death of construction workers.
If you’re caught ignoring signs and get into an accident that results in an injury, you could be in serious legal hot water. To prevent this, slow down and be very wary of all highway signs until you’ve reached the end of the construction zone.
Do your best to follow the flow of traffic and always use your turn signal whenever you change lanes. As long as you pace yourself and pay attention, you should be able to safely travel through construction on the roadway.
Not only is driving while distracted extremely dangerous, but it can also get you into serious trouble. This is especially important when driving through a construction zone since the odds of an accident are much higher.
You can’t afford to look at your smartphone while you’re traveling through a construction area. As traffic patterns change, you need to be paying close attention to the road and keep distractions at bay.
The definition of distracted driving can be anything from using a cellphone to eating while you’re behind the wheel. Save your phone conversations and meals for when you’ve reached your destination.
Fines and penalties for driving while distracted are substantial and are likely a lot more severe if you’re caught while you’re in a construction zone. Stay focused on the road ahead and you shouldn’t have any problems.
Be Patient and Don’t Tailgate
It can be frustrating to drive through construction on the highway, but it’s something most of us can’t avoid on our daily commute. If you’re aware that there’s construction going on, try to plan ahead.
When you pace yourself and give yourself some extra time, getting through the construction won’t be as difficult. Take your time and drive slowly with the understanding that every other driver on the road is likely as frustrated as you are.
To avoid getting into an accident, keep a safe distance between yourself and other drivers. Tailgating can end up with a collision if the vehicle in front of you suddenly slams on their brakes.
Driving or following too closely is yet another charge that can get you into legal hot water. It’s best to plan accordingly and prepare to go slowly when you know you’re entering a construction zone.
You should also expect the unexpected as you drive through these areas. Work vehicles and construction workers may enter your lane or come from the center of the roadway without warning. Other vehicles can also slow down unexpectedly, so always be aware of what might happen as you’re driving.
As long as you pace yourself, obey all traffic signs, and avoid distractions, you should be able to safely (and legally) get through any construction zone. The safety of yourself, your passengers, and others on the roads should always be top of mind.
Use Common Sense to Stay Safe
As long as you follow some simple road safety tips, getting through a construction zone should be a breeze. Avoid all distractions and drive the speed limit or lower to avoid getting into legal trouble.
Pay close attention to the work zone signs, and never tailgate or you could end up in a serious accident. With these easy safety tips, you’re ready to hit the road no matter what lies ahead.
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