Avoid A New Haven Auto Accident When Passing Through A Work Zone

April 18, 2024
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It is Work Zone Safety Week and as the spring weather is upon us and more and more construction projects and work zones are popping up it is a good time to review the steps you can take when passing through a work zone to keep yourself and those around you safe. While not all New Haven auto accidents can be prevented, there are certainly steps that you can take to avoid getting into an accident and injuring yourself or someone else who you might interact with inside a work zone.

Work zones are a necessary part of road maintenance because shutting down roads to complete the necessary work on them is often time consuming, bad for commuters and can even have an economic impact that outweighs the benefits of getting the construction done. With that being said, municipalities have a responsibility to the public to make sure that work zones are only used when absolutely necessary and that they are used effectively to take care of the roads that many of us drive on daily. If a work zone is overused it can cause frustration and anger among the city’s population.

Throughout the spring you will likely come across more and more work zones as projects that have popped up during the winter months that were not able to be completed due to weather are now popping up and getting accomplished. Also, weather related issues that affect the safety of our roads happen frequently in the winter and may not be able to be addressed until the weather warms up and the ground is thawing out a bit. This is important to keep in mind as you come across these work zones which can sometimes be frustrating to approach.

While frustration over the frequency of work zones and the congestion that they cause can arise, it is important that you take some safety steps to keep you from getting into an accident and causing more harm from the work zones then the occasional time consuming hassle that they cause. Here are some things you can do to pass through a work zone without making problems for other drivers and putting yourself at risk of an injury or property damage.

1.) Obey the posted speed limit. There will likely be a posted speed limit for the work zone you are passing through and you should follow that at all times. In general, on work zones that are part of work being done on the highway the speed limit drops down to 45 MPH in Connecticut, but those projects that are being done on side roads may have speed limits that are even slower then that. It is important to notice the speed limit and then obey it so you are not traveling at a dangerous speed.

2.) Keep your eyes on the road. This is important whether you are passing through a work zone or not. Distracted driving can be a problem if there is no work zone, but add the fact that there is work being done and traffic is already congested to the mix and distracted driving can make your situation a lot less safe. Whether you’re passing through a work zone or not, make sure your phone is off and stowed away to keep it out of sight and out of mind. If you get distracted while you’re driving through a work zone you may be putting yourself at greater risk.

3.) Follow flagger instructions. If there is a construction worker who has been assigned as the flagger whom is giving traffic directions on where to go and when to go there, you should obey the instructions being given. A flagger carries the same authority as traffic signals and you should always follow her/his directions and proceed cautiously.

4.) Merge early. When you see that a lane is either shifting or the flow of traffic is being reduced down to one lane from two or more, you will want to start your merger into the lane that is allowing traffic through as soon as you realize that that is being asked of you. Staying in your lane and waiting until the last minute can cause stress and put you in a situation that may cause significant errors that could lead to an accident.

During Work Zone Safety Week and all throughout the spring and summer you should be aware of the strategies you should employ to remain safe when passing through a work zone. Traveling through a work zone can not only put you at greater risk, but it can also put the other drivers on the road and the workers who are conducting the construction at greater risk of injury as well. Taking the steps outlined above should put you in a better situation to avoid a New Haven auto accident even when you are passing through a work zone that is restricting traffic and increasing congestion.

Accidents do happen and if one happens to you and you experience an injury or property damage you may want to speak with an attorney who can review your situation and work with you to protect your long-term interests. Contact our office and one of our experienced attorneys will hear the details of your situation and advise on next steps.