National Work Zone Awareness Week: 5 Work Zone Safety Tips for Drivers in Missouri and Illinois

work zone safety signs

When the weather gets warmer, there is no shortage of orange traffic flaggers and “Work Zone” signs on major U.S. roadways. However, many drivers throughout Missouri and Illinois fail to follow standard work zone safety protocols, causing thousands of accidents in road construction zones each year. Every April, the U.S. supports National Work Zone Awareness Week to bring essential road construction safety information to everyone’s attention as the road work season hits its peak. 

Today and everyday, our car accident lawyers encourage you to keep your eyes on the road and take note of these five work zone safety tips to avoid IDOT and MoDOT traffic accidents.

Setting the Stage for Work Zone Safety

In 2022, Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) reported 2,457 MoDOT traffic accidents in Missouri with a majority occurring between July 1 and September 30 when road construction is at its peak. Additionally, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) declared an average of over 6,000 IDOT accidents each year. With driver inattention ranking as the top cause for  construction zone accidents, it is imperative that drivers pay attention to these work zone safety tips while driving to avoid a serious work zone accident.

1. Eyes Up, Phone Down.

Distracted driving is the leading cause of work zone crashes in Missouri with 411 work zone related crashes in 2022. These accidents were caused by instances of driving while intoxicated or under the influence, texting, passenger distractions and just simply taking your eyes off the road. Whether it’s National Work Zone Awareness Week or just any other day on the road, you must pay attention to what lies ahead, especially in construction areas. 

2. Pay Attention to Signs and Flashing Lights.

To maintain a safe environment for construction road workers, signs and flashing lights denote areas where drivers need to slow down in work zones and for MoDOT and IDOT vehicles that are moving below the speed limit. 

One of the most common construction zone accidents is when a protective vehicle such as a MoDOT or IDOT truck or trailer-mounted attenuator (TMA) is struck by a passenger vehicle or semi truck. Drivers should pay close attention to changing lanes, work zone vehicles and additional signs to prevent personal injury from IDOT or MoDOT traffic accidents.

3. Watch for Workers.

Road work relies on its workers to do their jobs to make our roads safe. In turn, they rely on drivers to exercise caution so they may keep their road work schedules moving forward without an IDOT or MoDOT traffic accident delaying their project. As soon as you see the signs and flashing lights of a work zone, stay vigilant for road workers to avoid hitting them, MoDOT or IDOT vehicles or their heavy work equipment.   

4. Have Patience in Work Zones.

Work zone safety begins with patience from everyone on the road. While no one enjoys sitting in slowed traffic on their way to their destination, it is important to remember that the goal of road work is to improve our roads for future travels. National Work Zone Safety Awareness Week reminds each of us to follow the flow of traffic, avoid tailgating other vehicles, staying in your designated lane and actively watching for workers. 

5. Reduce Your Speed.

While speeding is unsafe and illegal anywhere you drive, it is especially dangerous in work zones. Speeding accounted for 11% of work zone crashes in 2021 in Missouri. Increased speeds reduce a driver’s reaction time for sudden stops, limiting your car’s braking distance and your ability to merge safely. For example, if a work zone speed is 25 mph and you are traveling at 50 mph, you will need four times as much braking distance. Drivers need to adhere to posted speeds in work zones in order to avoid a serious construction zone accident. 

Turn to our Trusted Missouri and Illinois Car Accident Lawyers

Paying attention to road construction and practicing work zone safety tips is the best way to avoid a serious work zone crash. Our Missouri and Illinois car accident lawyers understand how to best help you navigate your personal injury case. If you were recently injured in an IDOT or MoDOT traffic accident, contact our team today to begin collecting evidence and prepare your case. 

To learn more about National Work Zone Safety Awareness Week, please visit to explore their efforts across the country.