It may seem like Virginia roads are always under construction. It can be frustrating for commuters who need the highways open to get to work each day, hurrying to get to their offices, to have a few cups of coffee at their desks before diving into work.
But for road workers, a car accident in a Virginia work zone isn’t an annoyance—it’s dangerous. Construction zone workers have traffic whizzing by a few feet from their “office,” and they rely on orange cones and speed limit signs to protect them. While drivers deal with detours and slower traffic, road workers are risking their lives on the highway.
Some key safety tips to remember in Virginia road construction zones:
- Follow the signs. Even when work is not in progress, following the directions posted on orange construction signs will keep workers—and you—safe.
- Don’t assume they see you! When repaving or repairing roads, a worker’s environment is dusty, loud, and very close to passing traffic. These unprotected workers are focused on their jobs, so it’s up to you to focus on safety: Never assume workers will step out of the way of your car, even when traffic is at a stop.
- Follow the lines. Work zones often have temporary lines on the road redirecting the flow of traffic. Look out for shifting or merging lanes, particularly if you drive this road often—you may be tempted to “autopilot” your way through.
- Obey the work zone speed limit. Depending on sight distances and the type of work being done, the construction speed limit could be much lower than the normal highway limit. Don’t risk it—slow down!
- No distractions! While driving through a work zone, you should have as few distractions from the road as possible. Eating, talking on the phone, listening to music and drinking coffee can take valuable seconds off your response time.