Florida is experiencing growth that increases vehicle traffic on our roadways. This growth, along with aging roadways, precipitates the need for road construction projects. Construction projects may temporarily change the way traffic is routed, and construction equipment and crews are often in the area. Drivers need to be cautious when driving in construction zone areas and be aware they cannot drive the same way they did before construction began.
Lehigh Acres has been the scene of multiple accidents in the last couple of years at road construction sites. NBC-2 News reported two people died in a traffic accident at a road construction site recently. A witness to the crash said, "I've actually missed a turn because it can be a bit confusing. I go the speed limit, usually under it, but even if you're going the speed limit, other drivers ride you. They make you so nervous I've actually been run off the road before," she said.
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) encourages drivers to improve their construction zone safety to protect themselves, other drivers and workers. FDOT provides the following 5 tips:
- Increase Your Following Distance – The ideal distance is two and three car lengths between you and the car in front of you. This will give you the adequate time to stop if you need to. Increase your following distance even more in slick or foggy conditions.
- Don’t Assume Workers Aren’t Present – Even if you do not see any obvious construction workers, FDOT says it is still imperative that you obey the posted speed limit signs. Never assume that just because you do not see workers right now, that they will not be working a little ways up the road or that the speed limit does not apply.
- Follow Instructions From Flaggers – Flaggers are sometimes posted in road construction zones to help direct traffic around a work area. If this is the case, usually there will be signs posted that may read “Flagger Ahead.” FDOT says to always obey instructions from flaggers and assume that their instructions overrule any other traffic signs or signals. Also, be on the lookout for flaggers' signals, such as an extended palm indicating that you need to stop. Be sure to also reduce your speed and be especially aware of your surroundings when driving near a work zone with flaggers posted.
- Minimize Your Distractions – When you are driving in a construction zone, you need to be on high alert. If you are about to enter a construction zone, the FDOT recommends turning off radios, keeping both hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.
- Merge Promptly at Lane Closures – When you see a sign posted for an upcoming lane closure, FDOT says to be sure to merge as soon as safely possible. Do not wait until the lane is coming to an end to force your way over into the next lane. This is not only rude to the other drivers who followed the posted signs and merged when they were supposed to, but it can also be dangerous if you cut somebody off or even cause a road rage incident.
“Construction zones can be very dangerous. Following these recommendations for navigating around and through these zones is important to everyone’s safety. Should you or a loved one be injured because of the negligence of another driver in road construction zones, please contact our experienced team of attorneys. We are available 24/7, and there are no costs or attorney fees unless we make a monetary recovery for you,” said Fort Myers Car Accident Attorney, Randall Spivey of Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.
Fort Myers Car Accident Attorney,Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by just one (1%) percent of Florida attorneys. He has handled over 2,000 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida. For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239.337.7483 or toll free at 1.888.477.4839,or by email to Randall@SpiveyLaw.com. Visit SpiveyLaw.com for more information. You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.in Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County 239.793.7748.