How to make it safely through a road work zone

Does it seem like you come upon road work zones when you're already running late? Does it feel like there's always some sort of road work being done on your most commonly traveled routes?

Certainly, road work can be frustrating for drivers. However, it's essential to exercise care in and around these areas rather than rush to get through them or let your frustration impact your driving. Your own safety as well as that of other motorists and workers depends on it.

Drivers are typically given plenty of warning when they're approaching an area where road work is being done. Your GPS system may give you a heads-up that there's a slowdown ahead.

When you see reduced speed limit signs and other warning signs, be prepared to slow down and pay attention to what's going on around you. You need to obey those signs as well as any directions given by flaggers. Flagger directions and regulatory signs carry the same weight under the law.

Following are a few important things to remember that can help you make it through or around the zone safely:

  • Don't wait until the last minute to merge. When you see signs that a lane will be closed ahead, get over as soon as you safely can.
  • Slow down. Work zone speed limits here in Kentucky are typically 10 miles per hour below the usual speed limit for the road. However, some projects may require an even greater speed reduction. Don't travel any faster than the sign allows, but be prepared to slow down even more, depending on conditions.
  • Allow plenty of space between your car and the one ahead of you. Rear-end collisions are the most common type of work zone crash. Don't get too close to equipment, barriers or workers either.
  • Be sure you're out of the work zone before you resume your speed. Don't assume you're out of the work zone just because you don't see workers around you.

Work zones can be confusing and stressful for drivers. However, that's no excuse for negligent or reckless behavior. Unfortunately, too many people don't adjust their driving around a work zone and endanger the safety and lives of others. If you suffer injuries in a crash caused by another driver, make sure you get the compensation you need to deal with medical bills and other expenses and damages.

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