As a responsible driver, you know that you need to slow down and be extra careful when going through a road construction zone. But as we all know, not everyone takes traffic safety seriously. Every year in Clarksville and throughout Tennessee, people get seriously injured or killed in car accidents near road construction.
Road construction typically means at least one lane is closed to traffic. The sudden narrowing of the road can cause a logjam of merging vehicles. Someone who is speeding, driving while distracted or otherwise being reckless behind the wheel can easily rear-end someone and cause a chain-reaction wreck with several vehicles involved.
A national danger
Such accidents happen all the time in the U.S., often with terrible results. In 2014, the Federal Highway Administration reported that over the previous five years, construction zone accidents killed more than 4,400 people (mostly drivers and passengers) and hurt more than 200,000. These incidents tend to happen most often in summer and fall, when northern parts of the country do their road projects.
The FHWA recommends the following to reduce the risk of a construction zone accident:
- Avoid distractions like your cellphone.
- Be alert. Watch for signs letting you know where and when to merge.
- Don’t tailgate. Leave plenty of space between you and the vehicle in front of you.
- Follow the temporary posted speed limit.
- Be patient. You will get through the slowdown soon.
Most likely, our readers already do these things. But you cannot necessarily count on the person ahead of you or behind you to be as considerate. If you get hit in a construction zone, you could be seriously injured for months or even years. All because another driver refused to adjust for conditions.