Construction is just part of living in the Northwest Suburbs, but in 2016 it is especially difficult to avoid construction in the suburbs, even by Chicago standards. There are currently major construction projects on the Jane Byrne Circle Interchange, the Kennedy Expressway and the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway. All of these projects have been underway for more than a year already, and it will be several more months before any of them are completed. And that’s not even mentioning several other ongoing construction projects in downtown Chicago.
In 2010, there were more than 87,000 crashes in work zones according to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration. That averages out to about four per hour. And while many of these accidents involved workers, the majority were collisions between motorists. Most of those accidents were rear-end collisions. So what can Illinois motorists do to avoid getting in an accident while driving through construction? Read on to find out.
Illinois Work Zone Safety Tips
Thankfully, accidents in construction zones can be avoided in most cases by following posted directions and basic rules of safe driving. Or as many experts put it, it comes down to managing the three S’s of speed, space, and stress:
- Slow down when you are approaching a work zone. Construction tends to pop up sooner than you think, so be prepared for any lane changes or merging that is coming up.
- When you are in the work zone, pay attention to speed limit signs and follow the posted guidelines. Do not resume normal speed until you have seen a sign stating that construction has ended.
- When it comes to space, keep at least three car-lengths behind other vehicles. This should give you two seconds to brake if the car ahead of you suddenly has to stop. If someone is following you too closely, let them pass. If there is no place to stop, briefly tap the brake pedal to let them know they are too close. Do not slam on your brakes or greatly reduce your speed as this may cause an accident.
- Be aware of construction barriers and workers around you, and also make sure to allow enough space between you and them.
- Do not attempt to pass on the shoulder or other areas where passing is not allowed.
- Remember to keep calm and pay attention. Construction zones do not go on for more than a few minutes, and even a traffic jam does not that last long.
- If you are having trouble keeping your cool in a work zone, you may want to turn off the radio. Definitely do not use your cell phone while going through a work zone.
Contact a Rolling Meadows Personal Injury Attorney Today
Car accidents can be life-changing events, whether they occur in work zones or elsewhere. You still need legal representation to ensure that you are compensated for your injuries and the damage to your vehicle. If you have been involved in a car accident in the Chicago suburbs, contact Attorney Susan A. Marks at SAM Law Office, LLC today for a consultation.