April 8th through 12th is Work Zone Awareness Week. In Atlanta, we are well accustomed to road work and construction zones. Our relatively mild climate means that construction is a four-season affair. If you commute anywhere in the metro area, you’re bound to run into road improvement projects along the way. The consequences for negligence in construction zones are severe – in fact, civil infraction fines are often double in work zones. Careful driving in construction zones is not only important for the workers, but for your own safety. Learn some construction zone safe driving tips to maximize protection for everyone on the road. This week we want to bring awareness to work zones and encourage safe driving in these areas at all times. Our top tips:
- Look for the Orange Diamonds
Construction zone workers must provide adequate warning to drivers signaling a work zone. When you see the orange diamond signaling “work zone ahead,” slow down and prepare to stop or share the road with workers and heavy machinery.
- Keep an Eye Out for Workers
Construction zones are full of workers who put their lives at risk by keeping our roads clean and well-maintained. Give these workers a wide breadth and slow down as you pass them. Also, keep an eye out for flaggers, who direct cars in heavy traffic areas or projects requiring use of one direction of traffic. Remember that a flagger’s direction supersedes any other traffic signs.
- Drive with Both Hands on the Wheel
In a construction zone, you can expect a rough ride. This may be because of uneven pavement, rerouting traffic to drive over rumble strips, or even because of debris on the roadway. To avoid losing control of your vehicle, drive with a firm grip on the wheel, with both hands. You should never use your cell phone or text while driving, but especially in a construction zone. For the safety of other motorists and the workers who are improving the road, turn your attention away from your device and focus fully on the road.
- Slow Down
One of the best things you can do in a work zone is SLOW DOWN! Speed is one of the leading causes of accidents in work zones, so keep to the posted work zone speed limit. Often times, lanes are uneven or bumpy in work zones and high speeds put you at even further risk of an accident. Driving slower will give you enough time to react in case of an obstacle or other hazard.
- Know When to Contact an Attorney
Even if you’re following all the rules of a construction site and driving carefully, accidents can and do still occur. Other drivers may be to blame, or it could even be due to the negligence of a work crew. If you sustain injury on a construction site and think that someone else may be responsible, contact a personal injury attorney, like those at Kaufman Law, as soon as possible to discuss your potential case.