TDOT Halts Road Construction to Alleviate Holiday Traffic Woes
With Christmas and New Year’s Eve just a few days away, the Tennessee Department of Transportation will halt all construction and road repair work on highways and interstates to help reduce traffic congestion throughout the state.
According to a report by wkrn.com, TDOT will suspend all road construction and repairs beginning at noon on Wednesday, Dec. 23 and continue until 9 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 4, 2016. However, TDOT says that a few long-term closures and road repairs projects throughout Tennessee will continue to take place due to safety concerns.
In addition, motorists should be aware that workers may still be on-site at certain construction and road repair zones, so all drivers should be cautious when approaching these areas due to their presence.
Because workers may still be present, drivers should continue to observe the reduced speed limits in these areas. Anyone who is caught speeding in a construction or work zone may face increased fines, including tickets up to $500, court fees, and increased insurance premiums.
Work Zone Safety Tips for Drivers
Although TDOT is suspending work in most construction zones in Tennessee during the holidays, it’s still important to be cautious when driving through these areas, both during the next week and throughout the year. Construction zones often have significantly reduced speed limits to protect both drivers and workers, as the roadway may be curved and hard to navigate at normal highway or interstate speeds.
To stay safe while driving through highway or interstate work zones, do your best to follow these tips:
- Avoid distractions
When driving through a construction zone, being alert and cautious is of utmost importance. Many construction zones require drivers to follow irregular paths created by the placement of barrels and temporary guardrails, and it can be difficult to follow those paths if you aren’t 100 percent focused on the road. In addition, workers may be present mere feet away from your vehicle, which means drifting to the left or right could cause an accident.
- Watch out for special instructions on signs or from flaggers
In some cases, construction zones will require drivers to follow special instructions, such as slowing down significantly or even coming to a complete stop to allow vehicles or equipment to enter or exit the work site. Be on the lookout for special signage or the presence of police and flaggers who will direct you through the construction zone.
- Drive at or below the posted speed limit
Speeding through a construction zone doesn’t just put you and other drivers at risk—if also puts the construction workers at significant risk of being struck by your vehicle if you lose control. Speed limits in work zones may be anywhere from 10 to 30 miles per hour lower than speed limits in non-construction areas, and the reduced speed limits are to protect everyone in the area, whether they’re in a vehicle or working.
- Move into the proper lane as soon as possible.
Many construction zones block one or more lanes of traffic. When that happens, signs will be posted directing motorists to change lanes. If you see a sign indicating a lane switch or that your lane is ending, move over into the correct lane as soon as possible. If you wait too long, you may run out of room and block traffic or cause an accident.
Tennessee’s roadways require frequent maintenance and repairs to remain safe and smooth for the millions of drivers that use them every year. But that frequent maintenance also means that drivers occasionally deal with delays due to construction zones. By following the tips above, you can help make those areas safer for you, your loved ones, other drivers, and all construction zone workers.
If you or someone you love was injured in an auto accident caused by a negligent or careless driver in a work zone or any other roadway in Tennessee, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses. To find out how the Nashville auto accident attorneys at Matt Hardin Law may be able to help, dial (615) 200-1111 or complete a free online consultation form.