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Tips for Safely Driving through a Construction Zone this Winter

Construction “season” slows down in the colder weather but doesn’t cease entirely. Changing weather conditions also means more potholes and other wear and tear damage on Vancouver roadways, which require upkeep. Every year dozens of workers and motorists are killed in construction zone accidents, and our lawyers have several tips to make sure you and your family stay safe this winter season, including:

Plan Your Route: If you’re going on a long road trip or altering your daily commute, check the road reports for the area to see if there’s ongoing construction or hazardous weather conditions. This is also helpful in determining traffic flow as accidents may be listed.  AM730 radio is a great resource for obtaining up to date traffic information.

Stay Alert: We’re surrounded by distractions that go far beyond texting and driving. Anything that takes your hands from the wheel and your eyes or your attention away from the road (including changing your GPS or tuning a radio station) is considered a driving distraction that puts your life and the lives of others on the line. Stay alert and look out for construction signs, so you’re not caught off-guard when you have to slow down or merge lanes. Winter driving in snowy weather increases your chances of being in an auto accident, so stay vigilant.

Even if the road and construction area seems empty, there could be workers out of sight or road hazards including loose gravel, uneven pavement or oil. Icy road conditions add to your likelihood of an auto accident as well.

Reduce Your Speed: Construction zones often let you know kilometres beforehand for instance showing a reduced speed limit sign followed by a lane merge. Many drivers believe they can ignore these signs, especially when they don’t think road workers are present. The higher your speed, the longer it will take for you to stop in an emergency, which could cost someone’s life.

Obey Instructions: Whether there’s a flag person directing traffic or only posted signs, obey all instructions to maintain construction zone safety for you and the road workers. Remember there are heavy deterrents to speeding through construction zones, which include doubled fines and mandatory sentencing.

Merge into the Correct Lane & Stay There: Some drivers view merging lanes as an opportunity to get to the front of the traffic line, which can be dangerous. Merge into the appropriate path when you see a sign or are flagged to do so. Stay in that lane or change to the next proper lane as directed. This ensures a clear roadway and buffers for road workers.

Be Ready for Sudden Stops: The constant stop and go of some construction zones make it easier to get into a “fender bender,” so leave extra space between your car and the vehicle ahead of you.

Be Patient: You can expect delays in a construction zone. Be patient with the road workers and traffic and don’t give in to road rage behaviors.

Our lawyers at Stephens & Holman in Vancouver hope you have a wonderful and safe holiday season.

If you’ve been in an auto accident, please contact our Vancouver lawyers today at 604-730-4120 for your FREE case evaluation. Stephens & Holman have 24 convenient locations in Greater Vancouver and surrounding British Columbia areas.