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Our View: Construction zone safety

Published: Thursday, May 1, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, May 19, 2014 8:53 a.m. CDT

Spring might be eluding us, but one season we won’t escape is construction season.

Various road construction projects have restarted or will be starting soon in and around McHenry County. Among the biggest projects are the western bypass around Algonquin, continued work on Interstate 90 and the resurfacing of stretches of Routes 31 and 120 in McHenry.

Delays resulting from construction can be maddening, especially during your morning commute to work. No matter how late those delays might make you, remaining calm and driving safely is the best thing you can do.

Here are some other safety tips for driving through road construction zones, courtesy of the Illinois Department of Transportation:

• Slow down. Speed limits are considerably slower in work zones, and fines for speeding increase in work zones.

• Pay attention. Traffic patterns in work zones can change frequently. Keep an eye out for lane closures and pattern changes.

• Follow the signs. Flaggers, signs and arrow boards are there to guide you safely and efficiently through work zones. Merge early when asked to merge. Don’t wait until the last minute.

• Don’t follow too closely. Rear-end collisions are one of the most common crashes in work zones. Be sure to allow 2 to 3 seconds between you and the car in front of you.

• Be patient. Work zones often require lane closures, which will result in delays and backups. Be prepared to slow down and stop. Impatience and anger will not get you through a work zone any quicker.

• Turn on your headlights. Workers and other motorists need to see your vehicle.

Let’s work together to make sure the projects aren’t derailed by any mishaps.

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