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5 things to remember when driving through a work zone

Road construction is a way of life for drivers throughout Louisiana. No matter the time of year, drivers will likely encounter some type of work zone that must be safely navigated to get to their destination. While they can represent a longer, slower trip these necessary projects are unavoidable.

Here are five tips for safe driving through a work zone:

  1. Create a buffer zone between you and other cars. In general, you’d like to create a bigger space between you and the car in front of you. This “follow distance” or “stopping distance” ensures you have the time to react to slowed vehicles, traffic snarls or a merge lane.
  2. Workers are probably there even if you don’t see them. It is not uncommon for drivers to encounter warning signs but see no workers. The false assumption follows that there are no workers present, so safety signs need not be followed. It is important to remember that workers might be in a roadside trench or in another out-of-sight location.
  3. Follow safety instructions. A work zone will often be populated with signs, signals and flaggers who are directing safe traffic and warning drivers of upcoming hazards. It is critical that you follow these instructions as you proceed through the construction area.
  4. Minimize distractions. While this might be important advice for any driver in any situation, it is especially critical when driving through a work zone. Drivers who are distracted by phones, eating or reading email are more likely to miss traffic hazards.
  5. Follow merging recommendations. Lane closures tend to lead to the most frustration and instances of road rage. As soon as you see signs for an upcoming merge, it is wise to start preparing even if it means your trip is extended by an extra few minutes.

Motor vehicle collisions can lead to severe injuries ranging from head trauma to paralysis. When you are driving through a work zone, it is important to use extra caution to recognize stopped traffic, lane closures or road debris. If you were injured in a vehicle crash, do not hesitate to seek legal guidance regarding your options for monetary compensation.

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