Road construction in Florida is a never-ending frustration. Construction crews no sooner finish with one road when they are already at work tearing up another street. It may seem at times like every project the Florida Department of Transportation undertakes is along your route to and from work.
Of course, you understand the necessity of repairing and widening the highways and roads throughout the state, but even the simplest errand can become a test of patience when you get caught up in construction traffic. If driving through work zones is something you do frequently, you should be aware that frustration may be the least of your worries. Other drivers may not be as capable of controlling their frustration, and in a construction zone, there is little room for error.
Patience and preparation
The Federal Highway Administration reported that over 30,000 drivers, passengers and members of road crews suffered injuries and almost 700 people died in traffic accidents inside road construction zones in one year. When a road is under construction, the space for vehicles may be smaller. Equipment may take up much of the shoulder or even entire lanes, reducing the amount of space a driver may have to avoid an accident. To increase the chances of passing through a work zone without incident, keep the following tips in mind:
- Remain alert for sudden changes in conditions, shifting lanes or moving construction equipment.
- Slow down, observing the posted speed limit or going even slower if conditions are especially congested, but don’t drive so slowly that you create a hazard.
- Respect flaggers who risk their lives in traffic to keep things moving as smoothly as possible.
- Do not crowd other vehicles since rear-end collisions make up one-third of accidents in construction areas.
- Find an alternative route if you can avoid the construction, but if this is not possible, give yourself extra time to get where you need to be without the frustration of running late.
When a certain stretch of highway will be under construction, drivers typically have ample warning with signs, lights and flaggers. Additionally, the media often warns motorists to expect delays due to construction. Nonetheless, negligent drivers place you and others at risk when they ignore these warnings, drive too fast, allow distractions to divide their focus or behave aggressively out of frustration. If you suffer injuries in a work zone accident, you will certainly want assistance in claiming compensation from every possible source.