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.
RECOGNIZE THE HAZARDS
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.
KNOW THE DEFENSE
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 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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