Illinois roads under construction are prime environments for accidents that can injure or even kill workers. Over the last five years according to the United States Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, 200,000 people were injured in motor vehicle accidents in construction zones. While signs and flags are important signs that drivers should slow down, there are other tricks you can consider keeping construction zones safer.

While distracted driving is a problem in many accidents, it is a bigger problem in construction zones. Roads are often narrowed; lanes merge and workers are vulnerable in an area where cars drive quickly. One of the best ways to avoid accidents and to stay on top of these problems is to ensure that you are always alert while driving in work zones and minimize distractions. When going through a work zone, your entire focus should be on the road. Avoid eating, using your phone or changing the radio station until you are in a safer area.

In work zones, lanes are often merged to allow work on different parts of the road. Sometimes drivers will do what they can to stay in their own lane until the last possible minute. This can be extremely dangerous because it forces other drivers to stop quickly. If you know a merge is coming, get into the other lane well before it closes. Also, be aware that construction zones can change traffic patterns almost every day so you should never get too comfortable.

One of the best ways to avoid work zone accidents is to pay close attention to the road and obey the speed limit. Remember that fines are often doubled in work zones and there are often vulnerable workers just a few feet away. Pay close attention to brake lights and traffic around you to help guide your driving.

This is intended for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.