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Construction zones are everywhere here in Illinois. It’s just like the local saying that Illinois has two seasons: winter and construction. We still have a few months of construction before the winter weather arrives, which means your morning commute or weekend road trip can be extra dangerous. Construction zones on highways, interstates, and local roads make for reduced speed, shifting lanes, overall confusion, and an increased risk for accidents.

The state of Illinois reports that in 2017, there were 5,423 crashes in work zones. Of those accidents, 24 were fatal resulting in 30 deaths. Injuries from the crashes numbered over 1,400 as well. If you are going to be on the road, it is imperative that you stay safe in construction zones, as the likelihood of being involved in an accident is higher than in a non-work zone. Here are a few ways to keep yourself and your family safe.

Slow Down

Construction zones are busy places with extra equipment and workers scattered throughout the shoulder and road. Speeding can increase your risk of being involved in an accident, so be sure to slow down. If you see another vehicle driving too fast or erratically, slow down even more and give them a wide berth.

Stay Alert

Work zones typically feature a lane shift, uneven road surfaces, or other unexpected elements that could throw your drive for a loop. As you slow down, be extra alert to your surroundings. Keep your eyes peeled for workers, large vehicles pulling on and off the road, and changes in the road. When possible, turn down your radio to allow for better listening to the environment around you as well.

Don’t Drive Distracted

Distracted driving in normal conditions is already extremely dangerous, so be sure you are not looking at your cell phone while in a construction zone. Don’t glance at your phone for GPS instructions either; it’s too risky in an already dangerous place.

Even if you are a safe driver, you may still become involved in a work zone accident due to other drivers. In these cases, be sure you work with an experienced attorney to advocate for you during the insurance claim and litigation process. The team at MacCloskey, Kesler & Associates has worked with clients injured in construction zones, and we have the experience to get you a favorable outcome while you focus on recovery.