Avoiding a Collision During Construction Season in Montana
We have Two Season: Winter and Construction
Living in a northern state, things are a little different here. Throughout a significant portion of the year, our weather doesn’t allow for road construction. So when the weather lifts, and we get warm days once again, it’s full force through the first snow. That can make for some trying times when you’re out driving.
Driving can be a dangerous activity if you’re not careful. Heading into the construction zone is even more dangerous. In fact, one-third of all traffic fatalities occur in these zones. Because our goal is to ensure that you’re safe, we have put together a quick reminder on what to watch out for in these areas so that you can arrive safely, and those working can go home safely too.
Why Construction and Work Zones are so Dangerous
If you live in Billings, you may have heard about the construction worker that was hit recently. In this case, a drunk driver hit another vehicle causing him to be pinned against a trailer. While it is dangerous to work in this industry (8 times more dangerous than the average job), most of the construction or work zone fatalities end up with the vehicle driver being killed. Here’s why.
- Distracted Drivers: One of the biggest factors in car crashes today is distracted driving. This includes anything that takes your eyes off the road, but more often than not, it’s looking at a phone. In a construction zone, this happens when you come to a stop to wait, so you whip out the gadget. Then when traffic is moving, and you’re staring at the phone, vehicles behind you don’t expect a stopped vehicle and hit you.
- Cross Traffic: There is a lot of heavy equipment moving back and forth across the road in a work place. When a large piece of machinery is crossing, and a vehicle collides, the light-weight car doesn’t stand a chance against the 30,000 pound machine.
- Rear-end Collisions: Rear end collisions are the most common wrecks in construction zones. They can happen when you aren’t paying attention and hit the stopped car ahead of you, or they can happen if you merge dangerously and cut off the vehicle behind you.
There’s a lot going on in a construction zone, but they can be safely navigated if you just take a couple of extra minutes to get through them.
What to Watch Out for in a Construction Zone
Most of the danger in a construction zone is pretty easy to spot. So we’ll keep this list tight.
- Speed limits are lower for a reason; even if nobody is around, slow down a bit.
- Flaggers and roadside sign crew are putting themselves at risk, respect their space.
- Merge early; don’t be “that guy” and try to zip to the front of the line.
- Pay more attention; workers are around so keep an eye out for the unexpected.
- Put the phone away, even if traffic isn’t moving.
- Go with the flow; keep pace with the rest of traffic.
It can really be summed up with this: pay attention, be courteous, slow down.
Big Sky Collision Center fixes Vehicles in Billings, Montana
Here at Big Sky Collision we know that accidents are going to happen. If they do, whether in construction zone or not, we are here to help restore your vehicle to full factory safety standards.
If you have been in a wreck, give us a call at 406-259-6328 and let’s schedule an appointment.