We have all seen THAT driver on the road - the one who swerves out of the lane, drives erratically or stops suddenly to narrowly avoid disaster. Some of us have probably sworn at that driver. And we may not like to admit it, but many of us have also been that driver at some point. As construction season begins in Illinois, so does an increase in work zone accidents caused by speeding and inattention.
With that in mind, the Illinois Department of Transportation recently encouraged motorists to drive carefully in roadside construction zones. National Work Zone Awareness Week began April 11, and this year's slogan was "Don't Be THAT Driver" - a reminder to slow down and pay attention in dangerous road construction zones.
So how can you avoid being THAT driver - and avoid the hefty fines?
Keep the pedal off the medal
As the weather warms up after a long winter, many of us are eager to hit the road and enjoy the open air. While it may sometimes seem safe to speed through a construction zone, it is vital that drivers observe posted speed limits during summer road trips.
While the number of accidents in Illinois work zones has trended downward since 2010, work zone fatalities increased in 2014. Speeding is a factor in many of the state's fatal crashes. The state Department of Transportation hopes to prevent avoidable deaths by reminding drivers to slow down and drive attentively in construction zones.
Watch the road, not your phone
With technology becoming an integral part of our everyday lives, it can be difficult to "unplug" when we're on the road. But getting distracted by your phone, GPS, music or passengers is one of the most dangerous things you can do behind the wheel.
Work zones are dynamic, bustling sites with countless moving parts. That includes vulnerable workers, who must perform in a dangerous and unpredictable environment. Even on a route as familiar as your daily commute, it is essential to pay particular attention when construction is underway.
Don't let someone you care about be THAT driver. Send a subtle hint by sharing this post, or comment below with your roadwork horror stories.