Preventing Construction Zone Car And Motorcycle Accidents

Construction zones seem to be an annual part of freeway driving between spring and fall.  What was previously a clear stretch of road is now covered with orange things and people.   Driving through construction zones can be frustrating and obviously causes delays.  Construction zones are frequent areas of motorcycle crashes and motor vehicle accidents that cause injury or death. 

Drivers need to slow down and be cautious and watchful because many dangers can be found in construction zones.  Lanes may be reduced in number or size or be altered from their usual course.  Construction workers are all over the place.  Heavy machinery is being moved about.  Traffic cones, barrels, and barriers are everywhere.  Those cones and barrels have sometimes been knocked over and are lying in the way.  And the speed limit is always reduced.  Noticing and following the bright orange construction signs will alert you to what’s happening and help guide you through the construction area.

A rear-end collision is the most frequent category of collision in a construction zone.  A prime reason for that is drivers who don’t stay alert or try to hurry through the construction.  The higher a driver’s speed, the less time that person has to react if something unexpected happens.  The best way to avoid a rear-end collision is to maintain a proper speed, keep a safe following distance (you’re not in a NASCAR race; drafting one foot off someone’s bumper will only increase the chance of a crash), and try to avoid getting distracted by anything in your vehicle.

The Iowa Department of Transportation provides a road condition map that shows you where construction zones are located.  Even so, construction zones are often unavoidable unless you really want to go out of your way getting somewhere.  And those DOT maps, while they might tell you where the construction will be, will be no help in alerting you to the actual conditions in the construction zone.  That you normally won’t know until you reach the construction area, so be careful and respond appropriately and safely to the actual conditions “on the ground.”

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