Some road work can take place throughout the year as needed, but the warmer summer months are often when the biggest projects occur. When the weather is nice, Kentucky road crews expand highway overpasses, repave intersections and otherwise maintain and improve roads across the state.
These workers help to facilitate the safe travels of others when they complete these projects, but they are themselves at great risk of getting hurt by drivers who are passing them by. Construction zones are dangerous places and everyone who works in them or travels through them may be affected by this reality.
What do Kentucky drivers need to know about construction zone safety?
The risk of a crash is higher around traffic challenges and distractions
There are numerous reasons why construction zones see an elevated number of collisions. One is that drivers often find any moving machinery or workers present to be a form of distraction. They may watch a crane lifting steel beams instead of the vehicle in front of them, resulting in a crash.
They may also make mistakes when attempting to zipper merge or follow the instructions provided by workers directing traffic. There are many opportunities for collisions near road work zones. The sad truth is that bad behaviors by drivers in 2021 hurt 299 people in Kentucky construction zones and caused seven fatalities, one of which was a construction worker.
How can people avoid construction zone collisions?
The simplest way to prevent a collision in a construction zone is to adjust the driving route so that there are no construction zones on the way. While that may mean slightly extending someone’s daily commute, it could decrease someone’s crash risk substantially.
For those who do travel through construction zones, there are two safety rules that can help reduce their risk of causing a crash. The first is to observe the posted speed limits, especially if it is different from the standard speed limit on that section of road. Driving too fast could mean being unable to stop in time. Additionally, drivers should be careful to maintain focus on their surroundings so that they spot an errant piece of machinery or a stopped vehicle in front of them before a crash occurs.
Identifying and properly responding to specific crash risks around construction zones can help drivers to avoid causing motor vehicle collisions.