Tips for safe driving through a work zone

As we make our way into early spring, we are likely to see more and more construction zones popping up in communities in and around St. Louis. As these projects either directly include road construction or are immediately adjacent to a busy thoroughfare, drivers must exercise caution when traveling through a work zone.

Vehicle accidents can result in catastrophic injuries depending on the types of vehicles involved and the speeds at which they are traveling. When the collision involves concrete structures, temporary barriers or construction vehicles, the injuries can turn deadly. There are countless tips a driver can follow to avoid danger on the road, including:

  • Avoid distractions: The list of potential driving distractions seems to grow daily. From eating and personal grooming to making a phone call and adjusting the vehicle’s audio settings, any activity that pulls a driver’s attention from the road is a distraction. As traffic compresses and lanes narrow, these distractions can lead to severe collisions.
  • Increase following distance: It can be frustrating to travel slowly through a crowded work zone especially when the trip represents getting to work on time or getting home after a grueling shift. Even if it is frustrating, drivers must slow down and increase the distance between them and the lead car. This allows a cushion in which to safely react to sudden changes.
  • Follow warnings: From posted warning signs to flaggers directing traffic, drivers must read and follow any warning in the work zone. These signals provide advance warnings about reduced speeds, lane merges or construction vehicles entering the roadway.

Vehicle collisions can result catastrophic injuries including brain trauma, broken bones, paralysis and amputation. Whether the collision is caused by a distracted driver, drunk driver or a driver impaired by strong prescription medication, the vehicle occupants are at risk for serious harm. Drivers must exercise caution when traveling through any type of construction zone.