Road Crews Encourage Drivers to Exercise Caution in Work Zones | Florida Car Accident Attorneys Whittel & Melton

by

As we travel the busy roads and highways of our daily commute, it is easy to ignore the many construction crews and infrastructure projects that maintain safety and function on our Florida roadways. Work zone accidents claim hundreds of lives each year, highlighting the urgent need for increased knowledge and safety precautions.

Work Zone Awareness Week, recognized by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) in conjunction with numerous other transportation partners, construction crews, and law enforcement agencies, serves as a real reminder of the people behind the orange cones and flashing lights. According to FDOT data, there were 277 major injuries and 293 fatalities in construction zones throughout the state between 2020 and 2023. Work Zone Awareness Week takes place this year from April 15-19 and aims to inform and increase awareness about the significance of safe driving practices in and near work zones.

FDOT will experience Work Zone Awareness Week differently this year, since a team member died in January after being killed by a driver while putting up a work zone. This tragic loss to the FDOT team serves as a sharp reminder of the hazards crews face when carrying out their job duties┬ádespite the risks involved, and that safety on our roads is everyone’s responsibility.

Work zones are dynamic areas in which workers are frequently within a few feet from fast-moving traffic. The mix of heavy machinery, unexpected road conditions, and distracted drivers can lead to disaster. More than half of these crashes between 2020 and 2023 were caused by front-to-rear impact collisions, underscoring the importance of being alert when driving through a work zone, particularly when it calls for frequent stops and slowed traffic to protect workers and other road users.

Encouraging Safety in Work Zones
Ensuring the safety of all road users, specifically construction workers, is a critical responsibility of drivers. We may reduce the risks connected with work zones by being alert, patient, and compliant with traffic laws. The following are some vital pointers to remember:

  1. Reduce your speed and focus
    It is crucial to slow down and remain vigilant when entering a work zone. Maintain a safe distance behind the car in front of you, and be ready for lane closures or abrupt stops.
    2. Pay attention to instructions and signs
    Observe signage carefully, and heed any instructions given by flaggers or construction workers. Ignoring warnings or attempting to navigate around barriers can endanger lives.
  2. Merge early and stay in your lane
    In order to prevent last-minute maneuvers, merge into the proper lane well before you reach the work zone. Changing lanes in a work zone can be confusing and elevate the risk of collisions.
    4. Eliminate distractions
    Put your phone away, avoid eating and drinking, and concentrate entirely on the task of driving. In a work zone, minor diversions could result in significant consequences.
  3. Be patient
    Though delays and other inconveniences are fleeting, driving recklessly can have long-lasting consequences. Be patient, and show respect to other drivers and construction workers.

The nature of road construction work can be hazardous, but drivers can contribute to making it safer for everyone by keeping an eye out for changing traffic patterns, driving attentively, obeying work zone speed limits, avoiding all distractions, and keeping a safe distance from other vehicles. Responsible driving behaviors by everyone can ensure that we all get home safe.

If you or a loved one needs legal help regarding a work zone accident in Florida, our Florida Car Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton are here to help. Call us now at 866-608-5529 or contact us online for a FREE consultation.

Contact Information