Work zones on Texas highways are one of the most dangerous places where job site accidents can occur.
According to TxDOT, there were more than 27,000 accidents in work zones across the state in 2017 alone, resulting in 199 deaths and over 800 injuries.1
Interestingly enough, worksite accident lawyers find that a large percentage of those events occur at slow speeds and involve all types of vehicles, not just cars or trucks.
To prevent such occurrences, safety authorities as well as accident attorneys point out the need for every driver passing through a work zone to observe some important safety guidelines - it could save a life.
1. Slow Down
Work zones are slow zones and usually have signs posting a slower speed limit.
The best way to avoid causing a job site accident is to always obey the posted speed limit or if no slower limit sign is posted, proceed slowly.
Work zone speed limits are determined by a speed that is unsafe in the zone and not the normal speed limit; yet speeding in a work zone is one of the major causes of accidents in these zones.
2. Put the Phone Away
Distracted driving is dangerous, no matter where it occurs or at what speed.
As tempting as it may be to use time sitting in a construction zone to use the phone or send a few texts, worksite accident lawyers find that this is just the type of distraction that can result in a failure to yield to worksite signs or getting too close to other vehicles.
3. Stay Alert and Pay Attention
In addition to putting the phone away, accident attorneys stress the importance of being alert and paying attention to what is going on within the work zone to avoid unexpected situations.
Don’t adjust the radio, use other electronics, eat or drink, or become occupied with other distractions that can take your attention away from the road and work zone.
4. Leave Plenty of Room
When traveling through a work zone at the slower posted speed limit, leave extra space between vehicles.
In the event that a sudden stop is necessary, there will be room enough to avoid colliding with the car in front of you - refer also to #3 above.
5. Look for Flaggers and Signs
Pay attention to the posted signs about speed limits, stopping, merging, or any other instructions as well as to the flaggers directing traffic in the work zone.
As simple as it may seem, flagging traffic in congested areas is an extremely dangerous job and flaggers are involved in many job site accidents.
Stay alert and be prepared to stop quickly, yield, or merge according to how the flagger is directing traffic.
6. Stay Calm and Be Patient
Accident lawyers stress the importance of staying as calm as possible and accepting the fact that passing through a work zone is going to slow things down.
Getting angry, honking the horn, tailgating the car in front, or driving too fast through these zones will not help anything, although it could cause an accident and slow things down even more.
7. Plan Ahead if Possible
When time is of the essence, try to plan ahead for any construction along a regularly traveled route; accident attorneys suggest finding an alternate route to take until the construction has been completed.
Many work zones are announced in local news sources and traffic reports specifically to help drivers plan ahead so they can consider taking other roads.
It reduces delays and dangerous congestion in work zones.
Keep Everyone Safe In Work Zones
Road work is inevitable; eventually, every driver will come across a work zone along their route.
Proceeding through such zones slowly and carefully is critical for preventing highway job site accidents.
Worksite accident lawyers encourage every driver to follow these simple yet essential guidelines to keep work zones safe for everyone working in them and those passing through them!
Hildebrand & Wilson, Attorneys at Law
7930 Broadway, Suite 122
Pearland TX 77581
1Workzones, Texas Department of Transportation: Driver - Share the Road, April 2018