It’s spring and construction season again in Chicagoland. Most drivers cringe when they see the orange barrels and blinking arrows. Reduced speed limit. Narrower lanes. Changing lane patterns. And, new state laws (Scott’s Law) that require drivers to change lanes to avoid workers and first responders.
Dealing with road construction is not just annoying – it’s dangerous. Nationwide, work zone crashes have increased by 42%. Navigating through the congestion requires a calm, fresh, very focused approach if you are to avoid being a traffic statistic.
As an attorney, 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 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 navigate past the work activity. Many times, the road surface is bumpy and steering is more difficult. You simply need more time to respond to the unexpected.
• Turn-on Lights. This will help others see your vehicle – both front and back.
• Stay Alert. At any time, workers, work vehicles, or equipment may enter your lane without warning. Don’t be distracted by loud noises and pounding caused by heavy equipment. Sometimes debris can find its way into your lane.
• Always be Prepared to Stop. Watch for brake lights. 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 in front of you.
• 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. Lane configurations can change daily.
• Merge Responsibly. Merge before you reach the lane closure. Many recommend the ‘zipper’ merge where vehicles alternate merging from two lanes into one. Be courteous of your fellow drivers.
• Recognize Threats. Large trucks, vehicles with trailers, busses, and recreational vehicles need even more room as they navigate work areas. Give them extra room when they’re in front or along-side of you.
• Stay Calm. Road construction delays are just a part of everyday life. Don’t let this annoyance, or possibly being late for an appointment, 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 tragedy and save a life.
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 securing compensation for you – while you concentrate on your physical and emotional recovery.
If you or a loved one is injured in an automobile or vehicle accident, please call my office or complete the form below.