Driving through construction zones
August 13, 2019
By Samantha Greathead
Depending on which province one lives in, the likelihood of encountering some or other type of construction is pretty much a given.
With the growing trend to engage in more risky driving actions, particularly DWD, the possibility exists of one creating an “’deal storm.’ One that involves a change from the norm. So, when encountering these there is one rule: pay attention and SLOW DOWN in Construction Zones.
Unfortunately, these types of tragedies happen more often than we like to think. Teach your drivers to slow down to the posted speed and pay attention, particularly when there are workers.
Here’s what you can do:
- Slow down. You need more time to react as others are trying to navigate and speed their way past the work activity. Many times, the road surface is bumpy and steering is more difficult. Sometimes debris can find its way into your lane. You simply need more time to respond to the unexpected.
- Turn-on lights – if not on already. This will help others see your vehicle – both front and back.
- Always be prepared to stop. Stay alert and expect the unexpected.
- Don’t Tailgate. Rear-end collisions are the most common work zone crash. Stopping distance at 60 kph is about 30 meters – even on dry roads. You need more space between you and the car ahead of you. Don’t become annoyed if other drivers cut in front of you. Give them extra space.
- Change lanes safely. Change lanes only where road markings indicate. Most work zones have a solid white line between lanes.
- Merge responsibly. Merge before you reach the lane closure. Many recommend the ‘zipper’ merge where vehicles alternate merging from two lanes into one. Be aware that traffic patterns can change daily.
- Two-hands on the wheel. Steering is often more difficult in work zones. The surface may be rough, with stones or debris striking the vehicle and, more especially, the windscreen.
- Stay calm. Road construction delays are just a part of everyday life. Don’t let this annoyance and possible tardiness cause you to be involved in an accident and risk injury. Be courteous to the workers, flaggers, and other drivers.
These simple safety steps reduce the likelihood of a great day turning into a tragic one. These precautions can avoid a tragedy and save a life.