Construction seems to be never-ending on Virginia’s roads. Unfortunately, construction zones are very dangerous and increase the chances of someone getting involved in a fatal accident. According to industry statistics, 2018 saw 672 fatal crashes in work zones, resulting in 755 deaths. In Virginia alone, the state saw 9 fatal accidents, resulting in 9 fatalities.
Fortunately, drivers can take simple steps to dramatically reduce the likelihood of a collision. Our Virginia Beach car accident lawyer highlights seven of the easiest.
According to Travelers, over a third of fatal accidents in work zones are caused by speeding. The easiest way to avoid a crash is to go slower, which gives you more time to hit the brakes and avoid a collision.
Of course, the speed limit is often reduced in work zones, and fines for speeding are higher. Do not go over the limit and never go so fast that you get too close to the vehicle in front of you.
Increase Your Following Distance
A bigger cushion provides more time to stop and avoid a crash. Out on the highway, a two-second cushion might be sufficient. However, in a work zone, you should provide 3 or 4 seconds, just in case.
Nevertheless, don’t leave too much space. If you hold up traffic, you increase the odds of a crash so be sensible.
Put Away Distractions
It’s never a good time to send a text while driving, but you really want to pay attention when travelling through a work zone. Also avoid anything that takes your eyes off the road, such as fiddling with the controls on the dash or reaching down to pick up a cup of coffee. Instead, focus solely on driving. You can adjust the heat or change the radio station when you exit the zone.
Watch for Workers & Trucks Entering the Zone
There are a lot of people working in construction zones, so don’t be surprised if someone pops out into the road without warning. Construction workers are sometimes to blame for their own accidents because they do not watch where they are going. However, to avoid a wreck, you need to watch out for them.
Dump trucks and other large vehicles are also pulling in and out of construction zones, sometimes from access roads. Be prepared for anything.
Follow Directions & Signs
The work zone should have signs indicating where you should go. The lanes should also be clearly marked with cones or sawhorses. Always follow where you are supposed to go and never slip into a lane to try and pass someone. There could be a construction worker unprepared for your presence.
In many work zones, flaggers are present. If they tell you to slow down, follow their instructions.
Watch for Tools & Debris
Sometimes, construction workers leave materials in the road, which might cause you to swerve or lose control when you strike them. For this reason, you must carefully scan the road in front of you as you are driving.
Road construction can be frustrating to encounter. It might make you late for work or delay your ability to get home with your family. But losing your cool only encourages you to take risky behavior, which endangers everyone. Practice deep breathing to stay calm.
Also, if you know there is construction, then leave for work early so that you will not be late. A little planning can make the trip safer.
Involved in a Wreck? Contact a Virginia Beach Car Accident Lawyer
Barney Injury Law represents men and women injured in traffic collisions. For help with your case, contact us to schedule your free consultation. We represent clients in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, and Norfolk, Virginia.