Most drivers groan when they see orange construction barrels ahead of them or signs indicating a lane merge ahead due to road construction. Inevitably, construction zones mean a slower flow of traffic and a longer time getting where you want to be.
Some drivers are also acutely aware of how the state doubles the traffic fines for tickets issued in active construction zones and will therefore drive more carefully because they assume the police are out hunting for the most lucrative tickets possible.
Few people stop to think about how serious the safety concerns around road construction are. From drivers trying to merge without slowing down to the distraction caused by work crews, there are numerous concerning elements present at most road construction sites. How can you stay safe in construction zones?
Plan your route ahead of time
Whether you need to take Interstate 44 or U.S. 75, you could very well encounter a delay due to road construction. With the exception of road closures related to recent collisions, most major detours on the road are publicly available information. The state tends to announce road closures and construction projects long before they begin.
Checking your route, especially if you would be driving to a part of Tulsa you don’t usually visit, can help you avoid unexpected construction delays and the risk of a crash. If you do have to travel through construction, knowing ahead of time will allow you to leave earlier so that you don’t feel the constant stress of falling behind your travel schedule because of construction-related slowdowns.
Follow signs and worker signals
You will need to observe sudden lane change requirements or lower speed limits in a construction zone. You may also have to follow the instructions provided by workers, regardless of whether they use hand signals, handheld signs or verbal directions.
Safety should be your top concern
You never know when another vehicle might suddenly swerve into your lane or when a construction worker might move toward your vehicle from the shoulder.
You absolutely cannot indulge in distractions when facing road construction, even if traffic is at a near standstill. If anything, you need to pay attention much more closely because of the increased risks present near road workers.
Prioritizing your safety and the safety of others can help you minimize the possibility of a motor vehicle collision, even when you are in a higher-than-average risk scenario, such as traveling through a construction zone.