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Ohio road work zones can be dangerous: What you need to know to stay safe

Columbus, OH auto accident attorneyWork zones are becoming increasingly more dangerous for drivers and workers. Driving on Ohio’s roads can be a maze of orange barrels and traffic cones, detours and lane shifts, especially throughout the summer.

Work zones have become such a danger that in May, Ohio Gov. Mike Dewine and the Ohio Department of Transportation drew attention to the issues during National Work Zone Safety Awareness Week, according to the Galion Inquirer.

“Just like Ohio’s drivers, road construction workers want to make it home safe at the end of each day,” DeWine told the Galion Inquirer. “Accidents in construction zones are fully preventable when drivers use caution and slow down; doing so could save a life.”

There were 25 deaths in Ohio work zones in 2017, according to the National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse.

Safety Tips for Driving in Work Zones

  • Plan ahead: Work zones account for an estimated 10 percent of overall congestion and nearly 24 percent of unexpected freeway delays. Expect delays, plan for them, and leave early to reach your destination on time: When you can, avoid work zones altogether by using alternate routes. You can find construction and traffic information at OHGO.com and with the OHGO app.
  • Obey road crews and signs: When approaching a work zone, watch for cones, barrels, signs, large vehicles, or workers in bright-colored vests to warn you and direct you where to go.
  • Slow down: Look for signs indicating the speed limit through the work zone. Keep a safe distance from the vehicle ahead of you and follow the posted speed limit.
  • Move over: Ohio law mandates that you move over a lane when passing work crews, emergency vehicles, tow trucks, or any other vehicle parked on the shoulder with flashing warning lights.
  • Avoid distractions: Keep your eyes on the road and off your phone.
  • Watch for sudden stoppages: In 2017, 25 percent of fatal work zone crashes in the U.S. involved rear-end collisions.
  • Watch for large vehicles: Don’t make sudden lane changes in front of trucks that are trying to slow down.

What to do when you’ve been in a work zone accident

Whether you were a driver of a car or a worker injured in a work zone accident, an experienced Ohio car accident lawyer can help you understand your rights.

Contact Michael D. Christensen Law Offices in Columbus and schedule your free case evaluation with an accident lawyer who cares about you.

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