Most Virginia drivers encounter road construction, especially during the summer months. Almost no driver is happy when driving through road construction since it usually slows down the drive and increases stress.
Road construction accounts for more fatal accidents than you may realize. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 30,000 drivers were killed in construction zone accidents between 1982 and 2020.
Although road construction is routine and important to keep Virginia’s roads and highways safe, there are several dangers you face while traveling through road construction.
Shifting traffic patterns
Road construction zones usually involve a change in traffic patterns. These changes are marked by road signs, flags and sometimes workers directing traffic.
This can be extremely confusing and stressful. You must pay close attention to the changing traffic patterns and stay alert for other drivers who might veer into the wrong lanes or in front of you.
Road surfaces and speed limits
Along with these changing lanes, the road surfaces in construction zones are usually bumpy or rough condition. This can cause cars with poor tires to lose control and collide with other vehicles.
Most road construction zones have reduced speed limits, which you should follow. Unfortunately, there are many drivers who ignore these reduced limits and continue to drive the regular speed limit or even speed through the work zones. These impatient and aggressive drivers can cause major accidents.
Staying safe in construction zones
There are many things you can do to stay safe and decrease your risk of a car accident when driving through road construction zones. Pay close attention to all road signs and directions from road workers.
Keep to the posted speed limit and let speeders go past you, if possible. Stay far away from drivers who appear aggressive or impatient.
Do not let anything distract you. Distracted driving is something that all of us probably struggle with at times. Eliminate all distractions when driving through road construction zones.
Do not look at your cell phone or your navigation system, do not eat or drink and avoid talking to any vehicle passengers. Always be on the lookout for highway workers.
Protecting your rights after an accident
An accident in a road construction zone can change your life forever, leaving you with serious or permanent injuries. You could be forced to miss work or lose your job if you can no longer perform it. You could even experience mental health issues or post-traumatic stress disorder.
Drivers who speed, fail to follow signs or act aggressively in work zones are acting negligently.
If your accident was caused by another driver’s negligence, a personal injury claim could provide you with the financial assistance you need to rebuild your life after an accident.