Why construction zones can be dangerous

“Tedium” is a word many people might associate with construction zones. After all, they slow traffic and can delay a trip or commute by 30 minutes or more.

However, “danger” is another appropriate word to link to construction zones. Despite their tedium, or perhaps because of it, these zones can be dangerous. Here is a look at some reasons why:

Driver distractions

Having to slow down or even stop in traffic leads many drivers to reach for their phones or other distractions. Sometimes, the result can be a rear-end collision or another type of accident. Even a driver taking in the new work going up can spend so much time studying the construction that he or she does not pay attention to immediate surroundings.

Confusing layouts

Confusing layouts are a hallmark of many work zones. Lanes may change or narrow, for example, and drivers often have to pay close attention. This is especially true at dusk and in other low-lighting conditions.

Worker actions

Sometimes, wrecks that result from confusing layouts end up being more the workers’ faults than the driver’s. For example, a worker might have incorrectly marked a guardrail or failed to assess uneven pavement. Workers have a lot to track in construction zones, and because of improper training, outright negligence or other reasons, some safety issues manage to slip through the cracks.

Emotions

Then there are emotions such as frustration. For example, someone frustrated by an hour-long delay because of a work zone could be prone to road rage. Perhaps passengers in the car are hot and sweaty. They need food and/or to use the bathroom, and there is a lot of chaos. It can all add up to an extremely stressful situation.

To help protect yourself and others in construction zones, drive carefully, practice forgiveness for yourself and others, and obey all regulations. If possible, check your routes as the trip goes on, and you could even avoid these tedious and dangerous zones.

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