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How can I stay safe as I drive through a work zone?

Most everyone knows it is important to reduce speed and drive carefully when proceeding through areas where road work is being done. While slowing down may be inconvenient, doing so can greatly reduce the likelihood of being in a collision.

According to statistics available on the Federal Highway Administration's website, during a recent five-year period, 85 percent of all work zone crash fatalities were motor vehicle occupants, with drivers being the most frequent victims. What's more, there were 200,000 injuries attributed to work zone accidents during the same five-year time frame.

So, what can you do to help avoid being injured in a work zone accident? Well, here are some suggestions also found on the FHWA website:

  • Merge into the correct lane as you approach a work zone. This is best done well in advance of a lane closure.
  • Comply with the posted speed limit and slow down even further if conditions dictate.
  • Be prepared for sudden hazards, such as equipment, vehicles or workers entering your lane with no warning.
  • Pay attention to traffic and road conditions. Avoid engaging in such distractions as using a cellphone or tuning the radio.
  • Allow for a safe following distance behind other vehicles.

You will always fare better by taking it easy and staying alert as you proceed with caution through a work zone. Unfortunately, rear-end collisions are the most common form of accident that occur in work zones. These collisions happen when drivers fail to react to slowed or stopped traffic. There is very little you can do to avoid being struck from behind by a distracted or otherwise negligent driver.

A severe rear-end collision could cause serious injuries. In particular, your neck and spine are especially vulnerable from such an impact. If you are ever harmed in an accident while driving through a work zone, a Rhode Island personal injury attorney may be able to help you get compensation. This could be done either by working with insurance companies, or filing a civil suit, depending on the circumstances.

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