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Distracted Driving and Construction Zones Can Be a Deadly Combination

California safety officials are warning drivers to refrain from distractions, such as cellphone use, when traveling through construction zones.

The warning follows four accidents in highway construction zones in the month of September alone. A total of fifteen people were injured, including highway workers and law enforcement officers.

All of the crashes were preventable, according to California Highway Patrol (CHP). In one incident, a head-on collision between a passenger vehicle and a Caltrans truck left everyone involved with serious injuries. In another, a CHP officer used his vehicle to protect highway workers from a vehicle that was traveling over 65 miles per hour into a work zone.

“Every day on every highway throughout the state, highway workers, emergency personnel, tow truck operators, and law enforcement risk their lives to make travel safer and more efficient,” said Chris Cochran, Assistant Director, Marketing and Public Affairs, California Office of Traffic Safety. “We can all help just by following the simple rule when we see flashing lights on the side of the road – Move Over, Slow Down.”

To protect everyone’s safety, the California Department of Transportation urges drivers to follow these tips for driving in construction zones:

  • Do not speed in work zones; obey the posted speed limits.
  • Stay Alert! Expect the unexpected.
  • Watch for workers; drive with caution.
  • Don’t change lanes unnecessarily.
  • Avoid using mobile phones while driving in work zones.
  • Turn on headlights so that workers and other drivers can see you.
  • Be especially alert at night while driving in work zones.
  • Expect delays, especially during peak travel times.
  • Allow ample space between you and the car in front of you.
  • Anticipate lane shifts, and merge when directed to do so.