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Safely Drive through Construction Zones

construction zones

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, otherwise known as IDOT, over 4,500 motor vehicle crashes occur in construction zones on average each year. Of these 4,500 accidents, 1,100 resulted in injuries, and 27 resulted in fatalities. The Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. has provided you a list of current road projects.

The Illinois Crashing Report defines a work zone as “an area of a highway with construction, maintenance, or utility work activities.” Illinois marks construction zones with “signs, channelizing devices, barriers, pavement marking, and/or work vehicle.” An “end road work” sign signals the end of work and the resumption of typical roadway conditions.

In the Illinois Work Zone Fact Sheet, IDOT states that a motorist is more likely to be injured in a construction collision rather than a construction zone worker. With summer being the prime season for construction work, roadway collisions are being to occur at a typically higher rate. Last month, Johnson County police came upon an accident on Interstate 57. The accident was caused by a driver failing to slow down in a construction zone rear-ending the car in front and pushing it off the road. The driver then rear-ended two additional cars causing multiple drivers injury.

Embrace The Orange: Tips for Driving through Construction Zones

With construction season being in full swing and ending nowhere near in site, IDOT urges Illinois drivers to “embrace the orange” in work zones by following a few simple tips.

Reduce Your Speed

According to IDOT’s fact sheet, failing to reduce speed is the leading cause of roadway construction accidents. Reduced speeds ensure safety for workers and protection for drivers. Look for speed limit signs in various locations such as:

  • signs alerting of slower speed prior to the work zone,
  • at the start of the work zone, and
  • during the work zone as well as marquees stating the speed limit and the duration of the construction zone.

Be mindful of these signs. Reduce your speed accordingly.

Pay Attention

Road construction affects speeds and ordinance. Drivers must pay attention to these changes. Look for temporary signs or  stationed construction workers holding a sign. Flaggers generally stand at the beginning of the zone and the end. They also signal for any trucks pulling out of construction zones.  Drivers should also be conscious of work zone equipment and workers due to their close relation to the road. One moment of lapsed attention could lead a driver to veer off the road hitting one of the workers or being hit by one of the large pieces of construction equipment.

IDOT urges drivers to give their undivided attention when driving through work zones. If safety isn’t motivation enough, maybe the protection of your pocket book is. Failure to do so could result in a fine up to $75 for first offenses and as much as $150 for multiple offenses.

 Be Patient

Road construction delays can be irritating. It is important to stay calm and be patient during road construction. The delays can add additional time in your commute. But stay calm. Keep in mind that drivers respect the rules of the work zone. Delays will be limited. You’ll get where you need to go.

Turn On Your Headlights

When in a construction work zone, IDOT urges drivers to turn on their headlights. It helps construction workers and other drivers to see your vehicle. Larger vehicles such as trucks should utilize emergency flashers to tell other drivers that they will slow down.

Be Prepared – Before Your Drive and During Your Drive

Road construction adds additional time to your commute due to additional, atypical congestion and reduced speeds. So, it is important to always be aware of road construction in your area or on your commute route. The “Getting Around Illinois” website, https://www.gettingaroundillinois.com/gai.htm, updates the roadways currently under construction and is a great tool in preparing for your daily or spur-of-the-moment drives.

Even when you are aware of road construction on your route, work zones are filled with unexpected incidents. As stated before, road construction slows traffic and adds additional commute time. The temptation to speed is also present, but it is important to follow the speeds posted. Drivers should also avoid tailgating the drivers in front of them.

By following these quick and easy steps while in a construction work zone, you can ensure your speedy and safe arrival to your destination without headache or damage to your wallet. Additionally, if you have been injured in a car accident or truck accident, contact the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. today.

About the Firm


Ronald F. Wittmeyer, Jr. practices plaintiffs' personal injury law at his office in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

About Ron

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