You never know what you are going to face when you get behind the wheel and take to the road. These days, it seems like there is road construction going on nearly year-round in Oregon. The state is building new roads and updating and improving existing routes to handle increased demands. And as roads, bridges and other structures age, maintenance becomes necessary for safety.
While you may feel fortunate to live in a place that puts its tax dollars to work, road construction can be an annoyance, especially if you are running behind. However, road construction and work zones are often full of hazards and workers, so you should be as careful as possible when driving through these areas. The following information can help to increase your safety as well as the safety of others when you are traveling through road construction zones.
Pay attention to signage
There will be road signs placed alongside the roadway to warn you before you reach the actual construction zone. Pay close attention to these signs and what they say. As soon as you see a “work zone ahead” sign, be on the lookout for workers and hazards, and slow down.
Be prepared for a rough ride
In many road construction zones, you may receive directions to drive over gravel or uneven surfaces. Big metal plates often reinforce overpasses and bridges that are under repair, so expect a rough ride. Again, there will be orange signs to warn you of major changes to the driving surface, so slow down when you see these signs.
Watch for flaggers
In some construction zones, human flaggers stop or redirect traffic. When flaggers are present, you will usually see orange construction signs that read “flagger ahead.” Watch out for flaggers in all construction zones, and always keep your vehicle as far away from the flaggers as possible.
Obey speed limits
The best way to increase safety in road construction zones is to slow down. On many interstate highways, the speed limit is 55 miles per hour in construction zones when workers are not present. However, when workers are present, the speed limit is often considerably lower. Keep in mind that, if the police catch you speeding and issue you a ticket within a construction zone, you may receive a fine for double the amount of a normal ticket.
What if an accident happens
Accidents that happen in road construction zones may not only involve motorists, but they can potentially affect construction workers as well. This is why it is crucial to stay focused and reduce your speed any time you are driving through a work zone. Unfortunately, you can be as careful and as safe as possible and still be involved in an accident. If you receive an injury in a car accident due to no fault of your own, there are options available to hold the negligent parties accountable.