National Work Zone Awareness
Work Zones Need Your Undivided Attention, We’re all in this together.
The national campaign is conducted every year at the start of the construction season to attract national attention to drive carefully through highway construction and repair sites. Each year, approximately 1,000 people are killed in roadway work zones.
Please Drive Defensively in work zones. Work zones are very dangerous places because so much is happening. To safely navigate through one, always slow down, stay alert, focused and be patient. Always expect the unexpected. Work zone workers, equipment and materials may be in the traffic lanes. Altered road conditions such as edge drop-offs, sharp turns or sloped surfaces can affect your vehicles stability.
Here are 10 defensive driving safety tips for navigating through work zones:
10 Defensive Driving Tips for Work Zones
- EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED! (Normal speed limits may be reduced, traffic lanes may be changed, and people may be working on or near the road.)
- SLOW DOWN! Prepare to merge into different traffic lanes. (Speeding is one of the major causes of work zone crashes; obey posted speed limits. Speeding ticket fines are doubled for work zone violations)
- DON’T TAILGATE! KEEP A SAFE DISTANCE BETWEEN YOU AND THE CAR AHEAD OF YOU. Allow plenty of following distance – at least 3 seconds so you have time to react to hazards (The most common crash in a highway work zone is the rear end collision. So, don’t tailgate)
- KEEP A SAFE DISTANCE BETWEEN YOUR VEHICLE AND THE CONSTRUCTION WORKERS AND THEIR EQUIPMENT. Watch for the orange work zone cones.
- PAY ATTENTION TO THE SIGNS! Be prepared to stop! (The warning signs are there to help you and other drivers move safely through the work zone. Observe the posted signs until you see the one that says you’ve left the work zone.)
- OBEY ROAD CREW FLAGGERS! (The flagger knows what is best for moving traffic safely in the work zone. A flagger has the same authority as a regulatory sign, so you can be cited for disobeying his or her directions.)
- STAY ALERT AND MINIMIZE DISTRACTIONS! (Dedicate your full attention to the roadway and avoid changing radio stations or eating while driving in a work zone.)
- KEEP UP WITH THE TRAFFIC FLOW. (Motorists can help maintain traffic flow and posted speeds by merging smoothly, and not slowing to “gawk” at road work equipment and crews.)
- SCHEDULE ENOUGH TIME TO DRIVE SAFELY AND CHECK RADIO, TV AND WEBSITES FOR TRAFFIC INFORMATION. (Expect delays and leave early so you can reach your destination on time. Check the National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse for information on work zone delays throughout the country.)
- BE PATIENT AND STAY CALM. (Work zones aren’t there to personally inconvenience you. Remember, the work zone crew members are working to improve the roads and make your future drive safer.)
Information provided by FHWA, Workzonesafety.org and the National Traffic Safety Council.
Today’s Post is by Ken Oswald, Safety and Security Manager for Plateau