As summer ends and fall takes hold, drivers will likely see the frantic work to complete construction projects around Ohio before winter. There will be a flurry of activity designed to beat the approaching cold weather and accompanying ice and snow. Unfortunately, commuters will often pay the price for this concentrated work effort as many highways will be impacted by the work being done.

While many drivers might hear anecdotal stories about the dangers of driving in work zones, here are some facts that might illuminate the true hazards:

  • Rear-end collisions are the most common type of work zone crash.
  • Fatal work zone crashes occur most often in the summer and fall.
  • According to one study, distracted driving led to nearly 500 fatal work zone crashes over a five-year span.
  • Over the same five-year span, more than 3,300 people were killed in work zone accidents across the United States.

Based on a thorough analysis of safety reports and driving trends, there are some tips to remember when driving in a work zone:

  • Minimize distractions: Distracted driving can impact any driver no matter their age or experience. Talking on a cell phone, eating or personal grooming should all cease when driving through a construction zone.
  • Pay attention to the road: With distractions out of the way, drivers should pay careful attention to warning signs such as speed limits, merges or a changing traffic pattern.
  • Don’t tailgate: As mentioned before, rear-end collisions are the most common type of crash. Avoid this by giving yourself a generous cushion of space between you and the driver in front of you.
  • Change lanes safely: When merging into traffic or changing lanes, it is crucial that you perform a visual inspection around the car. Many cars have blind spot monitoring as a safety feature, but it is imperative that you check around your car before making a change.
  • Follow instructions from flaggers: In addition to posted safety signs, flaggers are on the road to direct the flow of traffic. From warning cars to slow down for trucks entering the roadway to stopping one direction of traffic in favor of another, flaggers are critical to the safety of the work zone.

Motor vehicle collisions can be devastating for car occupants. Individuals can suffer head injuries, back injuries, paralysis or amputation. If you were injured or you lost a loved one in a work zone accident, it is wise to discuss your situation with a skilled personal injury attorney.