Understanding The Hazards of Road Construction


Summer driving presents many challenging conditions for drivers. Avoiding potential losses requires drivers to recognize the hazards that can lead to a vehicle crash, know the defense, and react properly. Read the information below and ask yourself how you can improve your driving style in any of the hazard categories.




Construction zones present many hazards, such as merging lanes, damaged road surfaces, equipment and workers continually entering and exiting the roadway, and fluctuating speed zones.



If hauling an oversized load, narrow and shifting lanes can be difficult to drive through without hitting stationary objects. Likewise, uneven pavement creates grade changes that could cause cargo to shift.




Delays, distractions, and discourteous drivers are synonymous with construction zones. These hazards are stressful and can lead to aggressive driving, like preventing others from merging and road rage.




observe proper speed for conditions

Be patient and slow down. Reduce speed 2-3 mph below the flow of traffic, not to exceed the posted speed limit. Do not use cruise control in construction zones.



react properly to hazards

If hauling a wide load, be mindful of reduced horizontal and vertical clearances. Verify clearances in advance while route planning. Use an alternate route, if available.



maintain proper following distance

Keep a minimum of six seconds behind the vehicle in front of you. Add more space if additional hazards, such as workers and equipment, are present.



be attentive to the road ahead

Watch for road construction and reduced speed limit signs. Anticipate slowing or stopped traffic ahead. Use the turn signal and safely move into the thru lane well in advance of the merge point.



yield the right of way

Last-minute merging happens. Do not exacerbate the situation by tailgating or blocking lanes to prevent others from merging. Yield the right of way to help prevent a collision and unnecessary delays. 


avoid distractions 

Avoid in-cab distractions, like talking and texting on a cell phone. Beware of outside distractions, such as looking too long at billboards or construction work being performed. Focus on the road ahead.


Note: These lists are not intended to be all-inclusive.

The information in this article is provided as a courtesy of Great West Casualty Company and is part of the Value-Driven® Company program. Value-Driven Company was created to help educate and inform insureds so they can make better decisions, build a culture that values safety, and manage risk more effectively. To see what additional resources Great West Casualty Company can provide for its insureds, please contact your safety representative, or click below to find an agent. 


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© Great West Casualty Company 2020. The material in this publication is the property of Great West Casualty Company unless otherwise noted and may not be reproduced without its written consent by any person other than a current insured of Great West Casualty Company for business purposes. Insured should attribute use as follows: “© Great West Casualty Company 2020. Used with permission by Great West Casualty Company.”

This material is intended to be a broad overview of the subject matter and is provided for informational purposes only. Great West Casualty Company does not provide legal advice to its insureds, nor does it advise insureds on employment-related issues. Therefore, the subject matter is not intended to serve as legal or employment advice for any issue(s) that may arise in the operations of its insureds. Legal advice should always be sought from the insured’s legal counsel. Great West Casualty Company shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss, action, or inaction alleged to be caused directly or indirectly as a result of the information contained herein.