Construction zones in Georgia can be a nuisance due to slow traffic and delays, but they also present additional risks that lead to serious and sometimes fatal accidents. Drivers can reduce these risks by paying close attention and following certain safety tips.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, some of the risks involved with work zones include:

  • Narrowed lanes
  • Changes in traffic patterns
  • Reduced speeds
  • Workers in close vicinity to drivers

About one-quarter of the accidents in construction zones are rear-end crashes, while 50% of fatal crashes involve large buses or trucks. Excessive speed contributes to 29% of fatalities, and the majority of fatality victims are drivers.

Vehicle operators can avoid many accidents if they simply slow down, watch for sudden stops and avoid changing lanes in front of large vehicles who are slowing down. It is also important to stay alert, as there are numerous signs to indicate upcoming work zones and directions as to what to do.

The Texas Department of Insurance encourages drivers to use turn signals to merge or change lanes. They should also use emergency flashers when coming to a full stop. Using headlights at all times can increase visibility, and this is especially true during inclement weather and dusk.

Operators should expect the unexpected in order to avoid issues. There may be uneven pavement, height changes, worn surfaces, sudden changes in lane patterns and construction equipment that enters a vehicle’s lane. Watch for workers on the road to avoid pedestrian accidents, and follow all flagger instructions.