Tips on Driving Safely Through Road Construction on Interstate 16
You’ve probably driven on Interstate 16 on your way to St. Patrick’s Day festivities in Savannah or en route to Georgia’s Golden Isles. This busy interstate highway connects Savannah to a large part of the rest of Georgia, passing by cities such as Statesboro, Metter, Swainsboro, and Dublin, ending in Macon where it connects with Interstate 75.
With the increase of activity at the Port of Savannah, there is more traffic on I-16 than ever before. And if you’ve driven on I-16 recently, you’ve probably encountered several road construction areas that slowed your travel. Just being on the roadway in these construction zones can greatly increase your risk of a car accident. It is important to stay alert while driving on these dangerous stretches of the roadway.
In both directions on I-16 today, you’ll drive through sections where the left or right lanes are closed for construction and where the road becomes dangerously narrow. As a result, we hear about horrifying car and truck accidents occurring weekly, and sometimes daily, on I-16. Sudden changes in the roadway within these construction zones lead to tired or distracted drivers causing an ever-increasing number of accidents. Sadly, some of these collisions result in deaths or serious personal injuries, many of which should have been avoided.
So, how do you stay safe on Interstate 16 with all of this road construction? Here are some tips to remember when you hit the road:
- Slow down when the speed limit decreases.
The speed limit will generally decrease (usually to between 50-60 miles per hour) in construction zones. Safely reduce your speed, even if other drivers around you are still driving faster. As you slow down, keep your eyes peeled for signs indicating lane closures.
- Stay alert and assume that other drivers aren’t paying attention.
I-16 can seem wide open for long stretches. Construction zones can sneak up on you. Stay alert to spot changes in traffic, and always assume that other drivers are not paying attention. If you are stopped in a line of traffic, keep your eyes peeled not only for what is going on in front of you but also for what is happening behind you.
- Don’t text while driving.
Even if you’re on a dead stretch of highway with seemingly no one else around, or stopped in a line of cars in a construction zone, taking your eyes off the roadway to text while driving is always dangerous. If you need to text or check your email, stop at a rest area, a gas station, or some other place where you can safely park your car.
- Stay calm, and leave lots of room between you and the vehicle in front of you and allow others to merge as you approach places where lanes close.
Many times on I-16, drivers become impatient while driving through construction zones with reduced speed limits. Don’t tailgate the driver in front of you. Tailgating won’t make the traffic go faster and all it does is decrease the amount of reaction time you give yourself to make a snap decision if faced with an emergency situation. Also, no matter how frustrated you become with another driver who waits until the last minute to merge with traffic at a lane closure, nothing good comes out of playing “chicken” with another moving vehicle. Be the more courteous driver and allow other drivers – even the annoying ones – to merge.
- Especially watch out for tractor trailers.
Tractor-trailer drivers are professional drivers and many of them are the most cautious drivers on the roadway. Then, there are the exceptions – the ones who make the roadway more dangerous for everyone through distracted or aggressive driving. Additionally, some professional truckers are overworked and often not 100% alert. When driving alongside tractor-trailers on the roadway, practice common sense:
- Don’t cut them off – tractor-trailers require longer stopping distances than passenger cars.
- Don’t hang out in a tractor-trailer driver’s blind spot. Pass the truck or fall in behind it.
- When passing interstate exit on-ramps, move over to allow room for trucks that are entering the interstate.
If you do have an accident on Interstate 16, know that we have experience successfully handling car and truck accident cases. Involved in an accident on Interstate 16? Reach out to us today for a free consultation about your situation and read about our happy clients.