Safety Tips for Driving in Work Zones in Georgia

The most recent information reported to the US Federal Highway Administration about worker fatalities and injuries in the US shows that nearly half of all worker fatalities are caused by vehicles or mobile equipment running personnel over. Cars, vans, and tractor-trailers killed exactly one-third (33%) of workers fatally injured from 2003-2007.

Though the government is working to take measures to lower the number of construction accidents by increasing the overall safety of construction workers on worksites throughout the US, careless drivers still kill a startling number of workers daily (12 fatal injuries per day as estimated by the OSHA). Find out what you can do to help protect Georgia’s roadside construction workers. If you are injured in an auto accident in the state of Georgia, contact an experienced Savannah auto accident lawyer, today!

Don’t Speed 

The most obvious and the most important tip is to never barrel through work zones. Watch carefully for changing speed signs, and abide by them exactly. Don’t use the “10 miles per hour over the limit” assumption and think you won’t get ticketed – police are increasing the penalties for speeding in work zones, and they won’t cut you any slack when workers are present. Always pay strict attention to the posted speed limits so you don’t endanger workers.

Don’t Tailgate

Rear-end collisions account for 30% of all work zone crashes and are caused by people tailgating in stop-and-go traffic. Construction congestion can be frustrating, especially on your commute to work, but it’s important to stay calm and keep your distance from the car in front of you. Be aware of your surroundings and be prepared to hit your brakes at a moment’s notice. Causing an accident is the last thing you want on your conscience, especially if someone gets hurt.

Don’t Rubberneck

Gawking at exciting additions to roadways, enormous cranes, and construction teams is a great way to ensure you’ll end up in a fender bender. Pay attention to the road in front of you, not what’s happening in the sidelines. Let the construction workers do their job, and focus on your own job – arriving at your destination safely without harming others. If you’re distracted, you could easily hit the car in front of you and cause further delays.

Know Before You Go

Use the GDOT’s 511 system to check on current traffic jams before you leave your house. You can get real-time information concerning local highways and choose your route accordingly. This will prevent you from getting angry at unexpected travel delays, and it decreases your chances of getting into an accident due to distracted or emotional driving. Staying calm through work zones is the key to navigating them safely.

Obey Flaggers and Signs 

Often, human flaggers wave traffic away from the construction zones. Keep your vehicle a safe distance away from these workers, and follow their directions exactly. Treat stop signs and yield signs they may hold like every other road sign you encounter, and carefully read any digital signage relating to the work zone.

If a sign warns you of the times that construction will take place, such as in the middle of the night, try to avoid being on the highway at those times. If you must drive at these times in the day, use more caution than usual, and drive at a slower pace. Continuously scan the sides of the road for workers, and be prepared for swiftly changing road conditions.

Don’t Drive Distracted

Distracted driving is a reoccurring issue related to worker deaths. Eating and talking on the phone is legal in Georgia if you’re over 18 but should never be attempted while driving through a work zone. Texting and driving is never allowed in Georgia and can cause major accidents in a split second of inattention. Due to the constantly changing conditions surrounding work zones, distracted driving can easily turn fatal.

If you’ve been involved in a work zone car accident, whether it caused injury or not, contact the injury lawyers at Roden Law to discuss your next steps.