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Chicago Personal Injury Blog

Driving Safely through Highway Work Zones

by Jared Staver in Auto Accidents

As every driver knows, few things interrupt a commute or trip more than the sign “Slow down. Road work ahead.” While highway repairs are necessary, they are also quite frustrating for almost all drivers. Partially, this is due to the slower speeds, but highway work zones are most frustrating due to the inherent danger. Not only is driving too fast or recklessly through a highway work zone dangerous to you and your passengers, but also to highway workers. Even the most careful driver can have difficulty trekking through the changing road conditions and end up in a work zone accident.

These challenges have led to a growing number of injuries and fatalities nationwide. Here in Illinois, drivers have some of the worst difficulties managing highway work zones safely. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this has contributed to Illinois becoming the state with the third most worker deaths in work zones in the United States. Clearly, we need to better understand how to drive through these zones safely.

Safety Tips for Illinois Highway Work Zones

In order to make it easier to keep Illinois transportation workers, your family, and yourself safe, follow these highway work zone safety tips.

  • Obey all signs and flaggers. Warning signs for work zones typically have an orange background and black writing. Take note of these signs or nay other directions and heed their advice. These are here to help you travel safely through work areas.
  • Stay alert at all times while entering and passing through work zones. This means watching for hazards and reducing distractions so you can better pay attention to the other drivers and workers in the zone.
  • Merge to the proper lane as soon as possible. Don’t wait until the last minute to merge. That is how accidents happen.
  • Reduce your speed. Generally, speed limits are much lower in work zones and are enforced strictly. Even if you don’t see a sign telling you to slow down, it is important that you do so. Slower speeds allow you to respond to the additional hazards of a work zone more effectively.
  • Do not tailgate. Just because you are traveling slowly doesn’t mean you should be close to other cars. You could get into fender bender or worse, especially as you may be stopping often without warning.
  • Take extra care around workers. Highway workers are vulnerable around the heavy equipment and the traffic as they work. Don’t put their lives at further risk.
  • Be patient. Work zones take extra time, but you do no one any favors by trying to rush through. Be clam and wait patiently for your turn to pass through.

If you follow these tips, you will be better on track to get through highway work zones safely and efficiently.

Sometimes, though, accidents happen no matter how careful you are. In some cases, they are even caused by the negligence of others around you. In these cases, you should not be responsible for paying for the damages caused by that person’s reckless behavior. If you have been injured in a work zone accident, call the Chicago accident attorneys at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. We are available to set up a free consultation at any time by calling us at (312) 236-2900.