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What are the different areas of a construction zone?

When you come upon a zone of road construction in Missouri, you may not be thinking about the different areas that comprise each. This is understandable, as you are probably devoting most of your attention to paying attention to the signs and obeying the instructions of flaggers in the interest of navigating the work zone safely. 

Nevertheless, according to the Federal Highway Administration, several different areas comprise each zone of road construction, and each area poses its own potential hazards. Therefore, it may be helpful for you to identify the different areas and know the specific hazards that you face in each. 

Activity area

This is where the actual work takes place. It is also one of the most dangerous areas in the construction zone. When driving alongside the activity area, you run the risk of colliding with a fixed object or of construction equipment hitting you at an angle. There is also an increased risk of another driver rear-ending your vehicle. In two-way traffic areas, you face an increased chance of colliding head-on with another vehicle. 

Advance warning area

This is where you will see the signs advising you of an upcoming construction zone and telling you what action(s) you need to take, e.g., reduce speed, change lanes and so on. Of course, the instructions will vary based on what is going on in each specific work zone. Due to the presence of signs, traffic cones or dividers often set up in the advance warning area, you are at increased risk of a fixed object collision in this area. You also run the risk of a rear-end collision if the driver(s) behind you are not paying attention as you reduce your speed. 

Termination area

You will find this at the end of the construction zone. It is the area where normal speed limits and driving operations go back into effect. As in the advance warning area, fixed-object and rear-end collisions occur here most often compared to other types of accidents. Be careful that you are not so relieved to be out of the construction zone that you speed up or change lanes without first checking for potential hazards. 

The information in this article is not intended as legal advice but provided for educational purposes only.


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