How to drive safely through construction zones

When you see the orange cones and signs on the road, you probably think of how inconvenient your trip will now be. Speeds are slower, lanes are closed and detours may be necessary during road construction. The upside is that hopefully the roads will better afterward.

In the meantime, you need to follow all traffic laws in construction zones. The reason is for more than just avoiding a ticket with double fines or hitting a construction worker. Your own safety is at risk, too, with all the above factors affecting how other motorists are driving and exposing you to large construction machinery.

  • Slow down: No matter how painful it is to lower your speed, slowing down is the safest thing for everyone involved. It is easier to stop quickly and avoid hazards when you are going slowly.
  • Give room: You may want to get through the work zone as quickly as possible, but allow for enough room between you and other drivers, as well as construction workers and equipment. Creating more distance can help prevent an accident.
  • Focus on driving: For the moment, forget about finding your favorite music station, taking a sip of water or answering a phone call with your hands-free device. Put all your attention on the road, signs and flaggers.
  • Merge early: Avoid the temptation to wait until the last minute to merge into a lane in order to get ahead. It is not only courteous but also safer to merge early.
  • Have patience: It is easy to get frustrated under the circumstances or experience road rage with other motorists’ bad driving. Responding in anger only makes things worse. Try to be patient and positive. Deep breathing can help you calm your emotions.
  • Use safety features: Wear your seat belt and use your headlights to increase visibility.

Construction zones may be bothersome, but they can also be dangerous. Follow these tips next time you are in a work zone to reduce your chances of getting into an accident.