Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health insuran...

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Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager Chris Harrigan

UPDATED: Mar 6, 2022

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Key Takeaways

  • Drivers can prevent work zone crashes by staying focused behind the wheel and maintaining a proper distance from other vehicles
  • Drivers must abide by speed limits on the highway but reduce their speed if they go through a work zone in a residential area
  • Roadside assistance coverage is an inexpensive annual cost that can aid a broken-down car or blown-out tire in a work zone

Sometimes, people feel uneasy when driving through a work zone, as they are rife with their own rules for drivers. Being careless in a work zone and causing a crash would give any driver stress and anxiety. You may be subject to traffic tickets and citations if you do not follow these rules.

However, there are ways to minimize fears about potential work zone crashes. Not only can you adopt an enhanced awareness and use defensive driving skills, but you can avoid work zones altogether if they make you uncomfortable.

Accidents happen, and unfortunately, you may be stuck going through a work zone despite your efforts to avoid them. Some drivers have even had their vehicles break down while in a work zone, leaving them anxiously waiting for roadside assistance to arrive.

Plenty of car insurance companies — like GEICO — offer roadside assistance packages for instances like this. Being stuck in a work zone and having no assistance to tow your broken-down car can be intimidating. Most car insurance companies will cover tire changes, fuel delivery, and tows for an inexpensive yearly cost.

Use your ZIP code in our free car insurance comparison tool to see which coverage is best for your needs.

What to Do When Driving Through a Work Zone

Speeding and negligent driving are some of the top causes of work zone crashes. If drivers are careless on the roadway, they can cause severe bodily harm to others.

Complete focus on the road is ideal when traversing through a work zone. There are several things to remember as you keep your attention on the road. Be sure to maintain a safe distance from other cars or work zone workers when traversing a work zone. Without proper spacing, you risk accidentally hitting others with your vehicle.

Another rule to follow when driving through a work zone is to stay within the speed limit. Some drivers may speed through the work zone fast, but speeding in a work zone can be punishable by several hundred-dollar fines and traffic violations.

Double-check your rearview and side mirrors to ensure that the lanes you turn into are clear. Additionally, be sure to consider blind spots as you maneuver your vehicle.

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What is true of work zones?

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the most common work zone crash is a rear-end collision. These collisions are avoidable and usually the result of negligent driving. For example, speeding is the behavior of a careless driver, and many people may suffer from their actions.

A work zone is a zone with active construction, maintenance, or labor. Some work zones may have heavy machinery operating within them, have debris moved about, and contain pedestrians. Work zones can be in high-speed areas or residential neighborhoods.

Drivers unsure of the speed limit in a work zone should always stick to 55 mph. Their awareness should also consider the driver’s and worker’s behaviors. If the work is on a highway, the work zone workers may have set their machinery aside from the main road, and you may not be required to slow down much to accommodate the work zone.

Additionally, comprehensive car insurance covers damage from road debris, which can save drivers the headache if they get hit by stray material in a work zone.

Use Defensive Driving Skills to Remain Safe

Defensive driving skills are enhanced awareness strategies to maximize safety when behind the wheel. The most important principle of defensive driving is to keep your attention on the road. Be sure to use your turn signals, wear a seatbelt, and yield to pedestrians and other vehicles. You should also avoid touching your center console while in motion, leave your phone away from you, and avoid distraction.

A defensive driver should make safety their primary focus when on the road. Defensive driving reduces risk, increases observation, and encourages predictability.

Another principle of defensive driving is not trusting the actions of other drivers and separating yourself from erratic drivers. Defensive driving rests on the idea that you should distrust other drivers and observe their behavior to promote safety.

Can you go the usual speed limit if you do not see workers in a work zone?

When driving through a work zone, you should never proceed at the usual speed if the work zone is in a residential neighborhood, business park, or school zone. The speed limit in a work zone in these areas is likely 25 miles per hour.

On the highway, you may maintain the posted speed limit if workers are not near the road.

Always observe the actions of other drivers as you commute and be aware of pedestrians, heavy machinery, and other work zone-related vehicles.

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Roadside Assistance in a Work Zone

Vehicular emergencies can happen at the worst times and may leave you wondering what to do next. For example, if a tire blows out in a work zone, the proper thing to do is ensure that everyone in the area is safe and uninjured.

The second step would be to get assistance. If you have roadside assistance coverage with your insurance company, this will be easy. Car insurance companies like USAA and GEICO have plans that include fuel delivery, towing, and tire changes if you have a spare.

Progressive car insurance covers towing of broken-down vehicles with their inexpensive roadside assistance package. GEICO offers roadside assistance for an annual cost of $14. Most roadside assistance packages offer similar services, but many car insurance companies offer discounts for bundling coverage.

Work zones often have sharp objects littered across the road, which can cause a blown-out tire. If this happens to you, pull over and recover your debris from the road. You can request assistance from your insurance company once you know that everyone is safe. Tows and fuel delivery will likely take around 60 minutes with your insurance company.

Preventing Work Zone Crashes Is Vital

Work zones are an essential part of infrastructure. Not only do they benefit society, but they make roadways more cohesive. However, you may feel uncertain and nervous when driving through a work zone. Work zone crashes are common and scary to witness.

Fortunately, preventing work zone crashes is simple. It requires awareness and knowledge from all drivers. Now that you know what is true of work zones, what you can expect from work zones, and how to use defensive driving, you can help keep everyone safe on the road.

You also know about roadside assistance packages and what to expect from them in an emergency. Whether you need fuel or tow out of a work zone, roadside assistance is here to help. Consider using your ZIP code in our free car insurance comparison tool to see which coverage is best for you.