A New Driver’s Guide to Summer Construction

As June approaches and summer unfolds, so does the season of orange barrels. If you’re new to driving, navigating construction zones can be a bit daunting, but with the right approach, you can handle it like a pro! Here’s your guide to driving safely through the construction zones that are plentiful during the summer months.

  1. Know Before You Go

Before you set out, check traffic and construction updates. Apps and websites like Michigan.gov and local news stations can provide real-time information on road closures, detours, and construction activity. This will help you anticipate and avoid construction zones or prepare for delays. Planning ahead can reduce stress and the need for sudden decision-making behind the wheel.

  1. Heed Construction Signage

Once you’re on the road, pay close attention to the signs surrounding construction zones. These signs provide crucial information about speed limits, lane changes, and road conditions ahead. In Michigan, construction signs often come up quickly, especially on highways like I-94 or the M-22 scenic route. Adhering to these signs is not only a legal requirement but a critical safety measure to protect you and the workers on site.

  1. Slow Down, Even Beyond the Posted Limits

Speed limits in construction zones are there for everyone’s safety and are legally enforced in Michigan with doubled fines for violations. However, sometimes, it’s wise to drive even slower than posted limits, especially in highly congested areas or where workers are particularly close to traffic. Reducing your speed gives you more time to react to unexpected obstacles like sudden stops, shifted lanes, and equipment on the road.

  1. Stay Alert and Minimize Distractions

Construction zones require your full attention. This means no texting, calling, or adjusting your playlist as you navigate these areas (ehem…YOU SHOULD NOT DO THIS ANYWAYS!). Keep your full focus on the road and be prepared for unusual driving patterns and sudden actions from other drivers. Be especially vigilant for directions from flaggers and workers; their instructions take precedence over regular traffic signals.

  1. Be Patient and Courteous

Construction can lead to frustrating delays and unpredictable driving conditions. Keep a cool head and stay patient. Aggressive driving, like speeding or weaving through lanes, only increases the risk of accidents. Remember, everyone is trying to get through the same conditions. Showing courtesy to other drivers and construction crews makes the experience safer and less stressful for everyone.

At Official Driving School, we understand the challenges new drivers face, especially when navigating through construction zones. That’s why our courses emphasize defensive driving techniques and responsible driving habits to ensure you’re prepared for any situation on the road. Learning to drive safely in construction areas is just one of the many skills you’ll gain with us. Ready to become a skilled, confident driver? Visit our Segment 1 page and sign up for driver education today. Let us help you build a strong foundation for a lifetime of safe driving. Join us, and take the first step towards mastering Michigan’s roads, no matter the season or conditions!