Work zones are notoriously dangerous places for drivers and road workers alike.

In April, the death of a construction worker on Interstate 20 in Villa Rica highlighted the hazards of construction zones.

Georgia State Patrol reported a Honda Civic was traveling westbound around 3:10 a.m. The car plowed into the northbound emergency lane and hit four people in a road crew working between the interstate and the exit ramp for GA 61.

five tips for safe work zone driving

Five work zone driving safety tips

State patrol officers said the driver of the Civic was intoxicated at the time of the wreck. Emergency responders airlifted the driver and the most seriously injured worker to a local hospital. The worker was later pronounced dead.

The other workers were injured in the crash but were reported to be in a stable condition.

Work zones are dangerous because traffic slows suddenly and work crews are in close proximity to fast-moving cars and trucks. Often drivers become confused by new traffic patterns and the results can be disastrous if they fail to slow down. Impaired drivers are more likely to crash in work zones.

Five Tips for Work Zone Driving

1 Expect the Unexpected

Normal conditions often do not apply in work zones. The road may be narrower, there may be cones and speed limits are reduced. You should look out for people who are working on or near the highway.

2 Slow Down

Speed limits are reduced in work zones and penalties for speeding are elevated. However, a speeding fine may not be the worst thing that can happen to you. Drivers are more likely to lose control in a work zone and fail to react to rapidly changing conditions.

3 Keep a Safe Distance

The most common type of crash in a highway work zone is the rear-end collision. Often these crashes are caused by tailgating which is following too closely. You should always leave two seconds of braking distance between you and the car in front of you.  The faster you are traveling, the longer you should build in.

4 Plan Ahead

Highway work zones can cause considerable disruption, particularly during peak hours. Around a busy city like Atlanta, a work zone can be a recipe for chaos. If possible, plan ahead and navigate a route that does not include a work zone.

5 Merge As Soon as Possible

Often work zones contain flashing arrows and signs that denote a closed lane ahead. You should merge as soon as you can. Cars and trucks that zoom to the front of the closed lane and seek to merge can cause a dangerous situation and frayed tempers.

When you are driving in work zones you should always exercise common sense. Keep your speed down and increase the distance between your car and the vehicle in front of you.

If you were injured in an accident, please call our experienced Georgia car accident lawyer at (404) 913-1529.