It’s always important to pay attention while driving, but when entering a construction zone, this task becomes more crucial than ever. When driving on the highways, you will see plenty of construction zones in the warm months, and depending on where you live, you may see them during the winter months as well. It takes a lot to upkeep America’s roads, and drivers must take extra precautions to ensure safety for everyone involved. Not only does speeding in a construction zone create a greater risk of injury for construction workers, it also increases your risk of paying some seriously hefty fees. Speeding fines are usually doubled in construction zones.
1. Pay Attention to The Signs
Signs that indicate construction work are usually bright orange, so when you see this color, immediately reduce your speed and be prepared for any unexpected lane changes or detours. Always pay close attention to the posted speed limit, which will likely be at least 10 miles per hour less than it would normally be. Keep in mind that the posted speed limit still applies in the late-night or weekend hours when construction workers are not physically present.
2. Plan Ahead When You Can
If you know you will be traveling in advance, it can be helpful to watch for news reports of any road closures, construction zones or other slow-traffic areas. Not only will this help you plan an alternate route and avoid slowing down your trip, but it will also reduce traffic in these zones, making things safer for the people who are hard at work there. If there is no possible way to reroute your trip, then you can still prepare for the delay by making sure you have a full tank of gas and plenty of in-car entertainment, snacks and beverages in case you get stuck in a traffic jam.
3. Pay Close Attention
It’s always important to avoid distractions while driving, and this rule especially applies in a construction zone. Don’t assume that all of the traffic you see will be moseying along at a reasonable pace. Plenty of drivers speed and otherwise break the law while driving in these areas, despite the fact that the risk of an expensive ticket is much greater. Not only that, but you also have construction equipment and workers to watch out for. Put away your cell phone and remain as alert as you can.
4. Don’t Feel Pressured
If you’re driving the speed limit and the cars behind you are riding on your tail, ignore them. Some drivers want to speed through construction zones, but that doesn’t mean you should. Never let another driver’s impatience cause you to be a worse driver yourself. Despite what the people behind you might think, the fact that you’re slowing down traffic is a good thing. You could be preventing an accident simply by following the law.
5. Leave Extra Room For Large Vehicles
Watch out for big-rig trucks while moving through a construction zone. Some of them may be transporting materials in or out of the area, meaning that they could potentially have to slow down, turn or pull over at any time. A truck will also have a more difficult time stopping than a regular vehicle, so you should always leave a few car lengths of distance between you and the trucks around you.