You may think it is less likely for you to have an accident in a roadway work zone, however, that is all the more reason not to be complacent about the need for safety. After all, many accidents occur when we least expect it. Here are some simple but essential tips for staying safe when driving through those roadside work areas.
Be vigilant and prepared.
Roadwork warning signs are generally posted alongside the road as you approach one of these areas, along with the reduced speed limit and any alterations to the number of driving lanes. Watch out for signs and ensure you slow down to the required speed for when you enter the zone. Be cautious if merging with another lane is required. Workers are in high-vis gear but keep on the lookout for anything unexpected as they are often working on or very close to the road and this may also include heavy construction machinery.
Drive in defensive mode.
Many of the accidents in low-speed zones are the result of rear-end collisions. You may have slowed your speed but you should also take note to leave at least seven seconds of braking distance between yourself and the vehicle in front. Keep a regular check on your rear-vision mirror so that you’re aware of any vehicles behind you that are getting too close. Drive with patience and maintain a safe distance between your car and the traffic barriers, construction workers and their equipment. These zones may be annoying but remember that their ultimate aim is to provide better roads for the benefit of us all.
Remain on the alert.
Even if you don’t immediately see any activity taking place, proceed with caution. Work zones are in a constant state of flux, especially if there is road patching, painting of road lines and mowing taking place, and when machinery is moving slowly over a great distance. Once you’re in the designated zone you may see nothing at first and then suddenly be in the midst of workers and work action. Continue to observe and follow the road signs for the entire time you are in the work zone.
It’s important to pay attention to the flaggers.
A flagger doesn’t have an easy job but their purpose is to keep both workers and drivers safe and to keep you informed via their directions. Show these workers your appreciation by watching them closely and following all directions given. These flaggers carry the same authority as the roadway signs that you see and you can be reported for refusing to comply.
If you’re aware there is a work zone along your route, or if it’s one you’re driving through every day on your way to work, then plan ahead. Leave early to allow for delays and remind yourself that safe driving, patience and staying on the alert will help you get safely to your destination
In the event of an accident, whether or not it’s in one of these zones, remember that Australian law states that you’re entitled to an accident replacement vehicle provided you were not at fault. If that’s the case and your vehicle is headed to the repair shop, call our Not My Fault Team on 1800699034.