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Safety tips for driving in construction work zones

As we head into summer, many construction projects are kicking off around the state, as well as around the country. Construction workers and motorists alike face numerous hazards in work zones, where accidents are often severe.

The Federal Highway Administration found that between 1982 and 2014, 750 people died each year in work zone crashes. As part of its Work Zone Safety Awareness Week in April, the Georgia Department of Transportation released a set of tips for staying safe when there’s construction on the road:

“Drive Like You Work Here”

The theme of this year’s Work Zone Safety Awareness Week, drivers are encouraged to treat a construction zone like they would their own workplace. Watch for workers and slow down to obey posted signs.

Avoid tailgating

According to GDOT, 60% of work zone crashes involve either highway departure or rear-end collisions. Leave extra space in front of your vehicle to give yourself more time to stop in a construction zone.

Minimize distractions

Distracted driving contributes to the majority of roadway accidents today. Checking phone notifications or scanning through radio stations put drivers at risk of missing an important construction alert. Since traffic can slow down very quickly when entering a construction zone, even a few seconds of distraction can lead to an accident.

Check your route ahead of time

With construction projects in full swing, it helps to know what you might encounter on your route. Those who allow for extra time might be less likely to grow frustrated on the road and engage in risky behavior in a construction zone.

In most cases, the key to staying safe while driving in a construction zone is remembering to slow down, pay attention, and be patient.