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June 22, 2010 05:01 PM

Construction Zone Safety Reminders

Sioux Falls, SD


Two close calls in an interstate construction zone Tuesday have the South Dakota Highway Patrol sending an important reminder to drivers.


It all started with a rollover accident on Interstate 90, just east of Interstate 229 at 7:22 a.m. Then as authorities were guiding traffic around the crash, the driver of a red Chevrolet swerved off the road and into the ditch. No one was seriously hurt in either accident.

Trooper Steve Schade made sure more drivers don't bump up their bumpers as they steered around both a construction zone and an accident.

"Traffic backs up fairly easy," Schade said.

Schade says no one wants to hear about accidents in construction zones because the results can be a lot worse than what happened.  So there are some strategies to keep in mind when you pass by orange barricades.

"There's a lot of construction out there, and the construction crews are out here. You need to be safe; they want to be safe," Schade said.

If you want to avoid a dangerous situation, Schade says you need to be alert.

"You need to pay attention to the road, the vehicles in front of them. Because the vehicles in front of them could be slowing down or whatever and they need to be able to slow down and react to that, and not being doing whatever, texting, looking at whatever they're doing on their cell phone," Schade said.

That also means avoiding distractions outside your car too. And the trooper says failing to do so could have consequences. You could get a ticket for speeding or careless driving. Or even worse, you could end up in a scary situation.

Schade is all too familiar with the dangers of responding to accidents. Back in February, a Ford Expedition hit him in his patrol car while he was tending to another vehicle.
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