- There were nearly 100,000 work zone accidents across the country in 2015.
- About 75% percent of those accidents resulted in vehicle damage.
- That same year, 642 drivers and passengers were killed in work zones.
Benjamin Franklin once said the only things certain in life are death and taxes. If he were alive today, he would no doubt add road construction to that list. It seems you can’t drive through Pensacola without running into some kind of construction zone.
As Pensacola car accident lawyers, we’ve seen how dangerous construction zones can be. Drivers may speed through the zones, or may ignore signs to take a detour. If you’ve been injured in a car accident in a construction zone, know that our attorneys are here to help make things right.
In the meantime, here are a few tips to help you drive safely through construction zones in Pensacola:
1. Watch the Signs
In construction zones, there are all sorts of signs and cones that tell you what to do and where to go. You may see signs that guide you to a detour route, or that give you a new speed limit to follow. Always be on the lookout for these signs, and follow them closely.
2. Look for Flaggers
On two-way roads, there’s a good change that construction zones will be staffed by a a flagger, guiding traffic. Or, there may be a pilot car to lead the way if the construction zone is especially long. The delay may be annoying, but never drive forward if you don’t have the go-ahead from the flagger.
3. Slow It Down
There may be temporary speed limit signs posted in work zones, or there may not be. Regardless, you should slow down to a safe speed. Florida law does try to keep speed around work zones near normal speeds, but if the roads are narrow or your line of site is limited, slow it down.
4. Move Over
When there’s construction on the highway or on multi-lane roads, you should move over as far as you can away from the work zone. Give as much room as you can to workers on the road, and be patient with other drivers. They may wait until the last second to merge over, but give them ample room to do so.
5. Watch the Road
Distractions can be extremely dangerous in a work zone. Turn the radio down, put down the phone and keep your full attention on the road. A worker may step out into the road, or a driver may suddenly merge over. Keep your wits about you, and be ready to react to anything.
6. Be Prepared for a Rough Ride
Road work often means a bumpy ride. There may be rough roads, gravel and other road conditions that are rough on your car. Don’t try to weave and dodge to avoid obstacles; you could cause damage to your car by hitting a sign or cone. Slow down and drive carefully over rough roads.
Current Road Work in Pensacola
Of course, one of the easiest ways to not get in an accident in a construction zone in Pensacola is to avoid them. Use this list of current road work projects around the city to navigate your way around these zones:
- Pensacola Bay Bridge: A new bridge is being constructed to replace the old one, because the old one is structurally deficient. The current bridge is still safe to drive on, but it’s nearing the end of its life. The project is set to be completed in 2020.
- Mobile Highway at Beulah Road: This project, set to be completed this fall, will widen both Mobile Highway and Beulah Road, improve drainage and install a traffic signal.
- US 98 Business/West Garden Street at Barrancas Avenue: The purpose of this construction is to install raised grass medians, upgrading the traffic signal, install new crosswalks and make other improvements. It should be completed by the end of the year.
- E Chase Street from N Palafox Street to Bayfront Parkway: Improvements being made to this stretch of road include resurfacing, new signage, sidewalk reconstruction and more. It should be completed by this winter.
Speak to a Pensacola Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you can’t avoid road work, be sure to drive safely through them. Stay patient, and give plenty of room to workers and other drivers. Otherwise, you may find yourself in a preventable car accident.
If you are injured in a car accident in a construction zone, know that you have legal rights. The Pensacola car accident attorneys at Emmanuel, Sheppard & Cohen may be able to help you get the compensation you deserve. Call us today for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss the details or your case.