It’s summertime and construction season again in Chicagoland. Most drivers cringe when they see the orange barrels and blinking arrows. Streets are being repaired, lanes reconfigured, trucks merging, temporary concrete barriers appear, and orange cones seem to pop up everywhere. It’s not just annoying – it’s dangerous. Navigating through the congestion requires a calm, fresh, very focused and disciplined approach if you are to avoid being a traffic statistic.
As a Chicago auto accident attorney, every day I am personally involved in fighting for those injured as a result of the negligence of others. Injuries from car accidents can be severe and life changing. And, the added distractions and challenges of road construction create greater risks.
Here are a number of safety suggestions that can protect you and reduce the likelihood you’ll be involved in an accident in a construction zone.
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. 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 50 miles per hour is 300 feet – 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 pavement markings indicate. Most work zones have a solid white line between lanes. Illinois law prohibits crossing a solid white line.
- 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 asphalt pebbles striking the undercarriage of your vehicle, and the lanes narrowed. Hold on tight.
- 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.
We Are Chicagoland Auto Accident Attorneys. We Help Victims.
The Attorneys at Friend, Levinson & Turner Law are knowledgeable and expert in representing those who are victims of the negligence or carelessness of others. Claims for victims of automobile and vehicle accidents are complex and frequently multi-dimensional.
Insurance companies rely on professional adjusters to negotiate and fight accident claims. In order to deal with these professionals, you need a skilled attorney to protect your rights. We know your rights and the applicable laws. We are your advocates. We are experts at negotiating with powerful insurance companies. Fifty years of experience counts.
The Attorneys at Friend, Levinson & Turner Law make the legal process as stress free as possible. We focus on recovering compensation for you – while you concentrate on your physical and emotional recovery.
If you or a loved one is injured or a victim of an unsafe product or the negligence of others, please call my office at 312-346-8465 or contact us using the form below.