The Essential Work Zone Safety Tips You Need to Know to Avoid a Work Zone Accident in Missouri

work zone safety signs

When the weather gets warmer, there is no shortage of orange traffic, flaggers and “Work Zone” signs on the major roadways across the country. Road workers diligently work morning, noon and night to repair essential road features, bridges and overpasses to keep our roads safe. However, many drivers fail to follow standard work zone safety protocols, causing thousands of personal injury, pedestrian and car accidents in road construction zones each year. 

In 2021, MoDOT reported 2,022 crashes in Missouri road work zones with a majority occurring between July 1 and September 30 when road construction is at its peak. With driver inattention ranking the highest for causing work zone related accidents, it is imperative that drivers pay attention to the signs and warnings while driving to avoid a serious accident. Today, our car accident lawyers encourage you to keep your eyes on the road and take note of these essential work zone safety tips. 

1. Eyes Up, Phone Down.

Distracted driving is the leading cause of work zone related accidents in Missouri with 336 work zone related crashes in 2021. 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. No matter where you are driving, you must pay attention to the road ahead, especially in road construction areas. 

2. Pay Attention to Signs and Flashing Lights.

To maintain a safe environment for road workers, signs and flashing lights denote areas where drivers need to slow down in work zones and for MoDOT vehicles that are moving below the speed limit. One of the most common work zone accidents is when a protective vehicle such as a MoDOT 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 keep themselves and workers safe from personal injury in a work zone car accident.   

3. Watch for Road Workers.

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

4. Have Patience in Slow 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. Follow the flow of traffic, don’t tailgate other vehicles, stay in your designated lane and actively watch 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 in work zones reduce a driver’s reaction time for sudden stops, decrease your car’s braking distance and limit 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 by MoDot crews in order to avoid a serious car accident, otherwise it may lead to a work zone accident lawsuit. 

Turn to our Trusted Missouri Car Accident Lawyers

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