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Follow these tips to drive safely in a work zone

If you live in or around the Chicago area, you're never surprised when you find yourself driving into a work zone. Even if you're used to this, it only takes one mix-up to cause a serious accident.

Driving safely in a construction zone takes a unique approach. Here are five things you can do to keep yourself, other drivers and workers safe:

  • Know the speed limit: The speed limit in a work zone is almost always lower, as it's imperative for drivers to slow down and pay attention to what's happening around them. Keep an eye out for a speed limit change so you can slow down at the appropriate time.
  • Watch for signs and flaggers: For example, a work zone may have a sign warning that construction vehicles frequent the area. You may also come across flaggers who are staffed with the responsibility of telling you what to do. Pay attention to signs and flaggers and follow directions closely.
  • Use your headlights: Even if there is no sign telling you to turn on your headlights, doing so is always a good idea. It allows you to better see the road ahead, while also helping workers and other drivers see your vehicle.
  • Don't follow other vehicles too closely: When traffic slows down, it's easy to get too close to the vehicle in front of yours. Avoid doing so, as driving too closely can cause a rear-end collision in the event of an abrupt stop.
  • Avoid distractions: This is a must at all times when driving, and is particularly true when navigating a work zone. Don't pay attention to your cellphone, other people in your car or the song playing on the radio. Focus all your attention on your safety.

If you have suffered injuries in an accident that happened in a work zone, you may be eligible for compensation. Talk with a lawyer to learn about your legal options.

Driving safely in a work zone is easier said than done, but, with these tips, it's easy to feel good about the decisions you're making.

If another driver causes an accident in a work zone, such as striking you from behind, move to safety when possible and call 911 for assistance.

Once you receive treatment, learn more about the cause of the accident. This is also the right time to contact your insurance company to discuss the claims process and your rights.

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