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.
This material is intended to be a broad overview of the subject matter and is provided for informational purposes only. Joe Morten & Son, Inc. does not provide legal advice to its insureds or other parties, nor does it advise insureds or other parties on employment-related issues, therefore the subject matter is not intended to serve as legal or employment advice for any issue(s) that may arise in the operations of its insureds or other parties. Legal advice should always be sought from legal counsel. Joe Morten & Son, Inc. shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss, action, or inaction alleged to be caused directly or indirectly as a result of the information contained herein. Reprinted with permission from Great West Casualty Company.