Normal speed limits are always reduced in construction zones. Slow down when approaching the zone and go 2-3 mph slower than the posted construction zone speed limit to increase reaction time and allow yourself a good following distance.
2. Be alert for directions
Stay extra alert in construction zones. Be prepared to follow a flagger’s directions. In a construction zone, a flagger has the same authority as a regulatory sign.
3. Maintain one lane
When approaching a construction zone, you will notice lanes ending. Be prepared to merge if necessary, and merge early. If possible, stay in that lane. Avoid aggressive behaviors such as driving on the shoulder and blocking lanes so others cannot get in.
4. Drive defensively, keeping a proper following distance
It is important to keep a safe distance between your vehicle, traffic barriers, construction equipment and construction workers, as well as a good following distance. A minimum of six seconds is recommended under perfect road conditions. Adding a few more seconds in construction zones is highly recommended.
5. React properly to hazards
You never know when a hazard is going to present itself. Looking a minimum of 15 seconds ahead (eye-lead time) allows time to identify and react to hazards, giving you the opportunity to determine the safest course of action. Always be thinking about possible situations of how a hazard can present itself so you have a plan on what your next move could be.
6. Keep an eye on the road ahead
Pay attention to obstacles, debris and construction workers and construction vehicles that may enter the line of traffic. This will help in anticipating problems and reacting in time.
7. Expect delays
Map out your trip before you leave to see if you will be going through any construction zones. Highway agencies will post about various zones and detours to help you avoid the work zones. For more information on national traffic and road closures, check out the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
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