A new survey shows that 93% of contractors experienced crashes in highway construction zones in the Palmetto State. The survey, released by Associated Contractors of America, claims that 94% of those surveyed feel the work is as dangerous or more dangerous than previous years.
A U.S. Department of Transportation representative says contractors are constantly put in harm’s way, “They’re working inches from death on some occasions because they’re working very close. They’re in a work zone but very close to traffic.” The representative says drivers are responsible for keeping everyone safe on the road, stating, “We’re asking the drivers; it’s really in your hands right now. You must slow down and pay attention to all the rules accompanying driving through a work zone.”
Overall, there has been a 13% increase in work zone traffic accident fatalities nationwide.
At the David W. Martin Law Group, our South Carolina auto accident attorneys encourage all motorists entering and exiting work zones to pay close attention to the road so workers and other motorists make it home safely at the end of the day.
Here, we offer several tips to help keep everyone safer.
South Carolina Work Zone Safety Tips for Drivers
The first thing all motorists notice when approaching construction zones is the reduced speed limits. These are not suggestions. They are requirements.
Because of the changing landscape, shifting lanes, heavy machinery, and workers entering and exiting roadwork areas, drivers MUST slow down to react to unexpected activity — including other drivers who are not paying attention.
Other critical work zone driving tips include:
- Stay Focused on the Task of Driving
Any minor distraction, including onboard electronics, cellphones, passengers, or even reaching for coffee, can take your eyes off the road long enough to cause a significant accident — or worse, hit a worker who is doing their job.
- Follow All Roadwork Signs and Signals
Work zones are marked with signs, cones, and barriers providing crucial information about lane closures, detours, and potential hazards. Please pay close attention to them and follow their instructions closely. These instructions can mean the difference between a preventable crash, injuries, or fatalities and getting home safely.
- No Tailgating
Work zones are synonymous with traffic congestion and stopping without notice.
Allowing more room between you and the vehicle in front of you gives everyone enough time to stop safely when required and avoid a potential chain-reaction accident.
- Stay in Your Lane
Work zones are designed to give motorists plenty of notice that there are upcoming lane closures, shifting traffic patterns, and roadwork crews. Prepare for these conditions at first sight of the signs. Do not wait until the last minute to change or switch lanes once you are in the roadwork zone.
- Keep an Eye Out for Flaggers and Other Road Workers
Road work personnel provide direction that helps keep everyone safe. Follow their instructions to help maintain a steady traffic flow through the construction zone.
- Plan Your Route and Be Patient
To help avoid roadway stoppages and adding unwanted time to your travel, search your route on your cellphone or onboard GPS to locate construction zones and plan your trip around them.
If that is not possible, be patient with the process. Becoming frustrated or aggressive only puts everyone on our roadways in danger — yourself included.
Leslie Clark of the Associated Contractors of America adds that drivers can get reckless around these work zones and that it’s essential to stay patient. “As you approach a work zone, you start going from two or three lanes to one. That’s not the time to be speeding around trying to get in front of someone. I think it’s not worth losing a life just to get to your destination 5 to 10 minutes earlier.”
Contact Our Dedicated South Carolina Car Accident Attorneys Today
If you or someone you love was injured or lost their life in a construction or roadwork zone, call 803-548-2468 or contact us online to learn more about your legal rights and options to pursue the best outcome for your unique case by partnering with our dedicated South Carolina car accident attorneys at the David W. Martin Law Group today.