What we say and do differ when talking about traffic safety

Accident

According to the AAA Foundation, there’s a big difference between what we say and what we do when we are talking about what we believe about traffic safety.

  • While 93.5% of people surveyed said that it is not acceptable behavior to drive through a light once it’s turned red, 38.7% (one in three) admitted that they had done just that in the past 30 days.
  • 80.6% of us believe that it’s extremely dangerous and unacceptable to text while driving but at the same time almost half of us (42.3%) admit to having read a text or email while driving while almost a third of us (31.3%) admit to having sent one.
  • 83.2% say that it’s unacceptable to drive while drowsy. Meanwhile almost a third of us 31.5% of us admit to having done just that in the past month.

Younger drivers tend to be the worse offenders and tend to resist legislation to mandate safer driving.

You can read more about these and other stats about unsafe driving here.



400 people will die this coming weekend

According to the National Safety Council, it is estimated that almost 400 people will lose their lives on the roads during this upcoming labor day weekend.

First recommendation… Buckle up! If everyone wore their seatbelt, the NSC estimates that 144 lives may be saved.

They also give the following safety recommendations to help make sure that you aren’t one of the fatalities this coming weekend:

  • Refrain from using cell phones – handheld or hands-free – because there is no safe way to use a cell phone while driving
  • Do not manipulate in-vehicle infotainment systems or electronic devices, including GPS systems, while the vehicle is in motion
  • Make sure all passengers are buckled up and children are in safety seats appropriate for their age and size
  • Allow plenty of travel time to avoid frustration and diminish the impulse to speed
  • Drive defensively and exercise caution, especially during inclement weather
  • Designate a non-drinking driver or plan for alternative transportation, such as a taxi

Read more in a NSC white paper entitled “Labor Day Holiday Period Traffic Fatality, 2014

Please have a safe labor day weekend everyone!



Work zone Safety

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

keno@plateautel.com

 


Mobile Equipment Safety

When speaking about equipment and safety, we usually tend to think about lockout/tagout, guards, etc… on manufacturing equipment that is stationary, permanently in place in the workplace. Mobile machinery and equipment however still kill over 400 workers each year.

While flaggers are obviously the ones who are most immediately in danger of being hit by a piece of mobile equipment, anyone who finds himself around trucks, buses, plows and other heavy equipment is at risk. In many cases, with the forementioned vehicles, the line of sight is greatly reduced and blind spots are numerous.

Some basics for mobile equipment safety
1. Everyone working in or around mobile equipment should be wearing high-visibility vests.
2. All heavy equipment operator should be in constant radio contact with a person on the ground whose job it is to prevent accidents.
3. As much as possible, pedestrian and vehicle paths should be kept separated. When and where they must intersect the crossing should be clearly marked so that both pedestrians and drivers know where the area of high risk is.
4. Drivers should backup only when it is absolutely necessary. As much as possible drivers should be looking ahead. Backing up is the single most dangerous movement and where most accidents occur.
5. Backup alarms should be installed on all heavy equipment to warn pedestrians that the drivers’ visibility has just been greatly impaired.

For further documentation (especially for training employees) go to the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health website and download the “Mobile Equipment Safety” training document.


June National Safety Month- Driving Safety

June 2012 National Safety Month Tips

Driving Safety

Driving is one of the most dangerous activities you will do each day. As traffic on the roads increases during the summer months, keep in mind the safety tips below to stay safe when driving for work or pleasure.

Cell Phone Distracted Driving

Cell phone use while driving isnt just a visual and manual distraction, but a cognitive distraction taking your mind off the primary task of driving. That is why hands-free devices offer no safety benefit as your brain is distracted by the conversation. When driving:

Refrain from using your cell phone

Put your cell phone on silent or in the glove box to avoid temptation

Safely pull over and put the vehicle in Park to take or make a call

Change your voicemail message to say you are unavailable when driving

Safety Belt Use

Safety belts are one of the most effective safety devices in your vehicle. Safety belts can determine who will walk away from a crash and who will not.

Always wear a safety belt every trip, every time

Make sure every passenger is wearing his or her safety belt before you begin your drive

Children should sit in the back and use the proper child safety seat or booster seat

Impaired Driving

Impaired driving simply means a persons ability to safely operate a motor vehicle is compromised by alcohol and other drugs that change the function of the brain and body.

If you plan on drinking, designate a non-drinking driver for the evening

Never get in the car with an intoxicated driver take keys away from someone who has been drinking

If you have been drinking and need to get home, call a friend or taxi or take public transportation

Aggressive Driving

Aggressive driving behaviors can include speeding, frequent and unnecessary lane changes, tailgating and running red or yellow lights. These behaviors create unsafe situations and can lead to road rage. To avoid aggressive driving:

Keep your emotions in check and dont take frustrations out on other drivers

Plan ahead and allow enough time for delays

Focus on your own driving

Dont tailgate or flash your lights at another driver

Use your horn sparingly

Daily Tips this week:

June 25: If you plan on drinking, designate a non-drinking driver for the evening.

June 26: Put your cell phone on silent or out of reach to avoid the temptation of distraction while driving.

June 27: Always wear your safety belt and make sure passengers are buckled up as well.

June 28: Avoid aggressive driving by keeping your emotions in check and planning ahead to allow enough time for delays.

June 29: Abide by speed limit signs and adjust for the driving conditions, such as inclement weather.

Driving Safety Quiz

1. What behavior can help to avoid impaired driving?

A. Getting in the car with an intoxicated driver

B. Designating a non-drinking driver

C. Only driving after you feel like youve sobered up

D. Driving home quickly after drinking

2. What behavior signals aggressive driving?

A. Frequent and unnecessary lane changes

B. Driving the posted speed limit

C. Focusing on your own driving

D. Keeping your emotions in check

3. Drivers who buckle up are more likely to avoid serious injuries in a crash by what percentage?

A. 19%

B. 50%

C. 74%

D. 23%

4. What type of distraction is caused when using a cell phone while driving?

A. Visual distraction

B. Cognitive distraction

C. Manual distraction

D. All of the above

5. Using a hands-free device makes driving while using a cell phone safe.

True False

Answers:

1. B

2. A

3. B

4. D

5. False

Other basic Driving Safety Tips:

Beyond acquiring basic car control skills — and exercising good judgment behind the wheel — there are a few basic rules for safe driving that everyone should know– and follow:

Don’t tailgate: Crowding the car ahead of you makes it more likely you’ll smash into it if the driver should suddenly brake. Modern safety devices such as anti-lock brakes and traction control don’t trump physics.

Obey the three second rule: Every driver should know and heed the three second rule: When the vehicle ahead of you passes a fixed object (such as a tree or telephone pole) slowly count “one thousand, two one thousand, and three one thousand.” If you reach the object before completing the count, you’re following too closely. Double your following distance (to six seconds) in poor weather.

Use turn signals: Failing to signal your intentions to other motorists is always dangerous — as well as not courteous. Other motorists are not psychic; they can’t guess that you are planning on making a right turn — or about to move into the next lane. Signaling is especially important for the safety of motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians, too. If they are in your blind spot and you just assume no one’s there and execute a maneuver without signaling first, these folks will get no advance warning — and will suffer the most if you strike them.

Don’t impede the flow of traffic: Driving too slowly can be more dangerous than driving a little faster than the posted limit. In a high-density situation, with many others vehicles sharing the road, a dawdler creates what amounts to a rolling roadblock. Traffic snarls; motorists jockey for position — the smooth flow of cars is interrupted. Try to drive with the flow of traffic — and if the car behind you clearly wishes to go faster, the best thing to do is let it get by, whether you are “doing the limit” already or not. The other driver may have an emergency you are unaware of — and in any event, it is simply safer and more courteous to yield to faster-moving traffic. Leave enforcement of speed limits to the police.

Maintain appropriate speed: Speed, as such, doesn’t kill. If it did, airliners traveling at 500 mph would have the highest accident/fatality rates of any form of transportation. But air travel is in fact much safer than driving — and few cars travel at 500 mph. The problem is inappropriate speed. For example, while it may be perfectly legal to drive 65 mph on the highway, if you don’t slow down when it’s raining heavily (or snowing) and your visibility as well as your car’s stopping ability are reduced — you increase your chances of having an accident. Similarly, if you are driving an unfamiliar road, especially a country road with many blind curves, you may not be able to negotiate the road at the same speed a local might with equal safety. Use your judgment — and adjust speed to match conditions and your comfort level.

Plan ahead/use your mirrors: Anticipate the need to brake or make lane changes, etc. by constantly scanning your driving environment and watching the actions of other drivers, pedestrians and so on. This way, it’s less likely you’ll need to jam on the brakes — or make sudden steering changes — to avoid problems. The best drivers always maintain “situational awareness” — where other cars are in relation to their vehicle, what’s coming up ahead — and what’s happening on either side of them and behind them. Use your mirrors — frequently.

Drive within your limits, the limits set by conditions and the limits of your vehicle: SUVs are not as equipped as sporty cars to travel safely at higher speeds — and sporty cars tend to get skittish much more readily when it snows. Older vehicles lacking modern tires or traction/stability enhancers don’t have the same built-in edge as late model cars with those features. You’ll need more time to slow down safely; the older car will also go into a skid with less provocation than a newer car equipped with an electronic stability aid. Don’t drive faster than you — or your vehicle — can drive safely, with ample “cushion” of time and space to make corrections and react to changing conditions and other motorists.

 


Bike Safety Tips

May is National Bike Month

The League of American Bicyclists is the national sponsor of Bike Month, and this year Bike to Work Week is May 14-19, 2012 and Bike to Work Day is Friday, May 18, 2012.

Spring and Summer fun has begun. Kids are soon out of school on the streets, gas prices are at record highs, now is the time we dust off the bike from the storage shed and hit the streets. Here are a few key bike safety tips to know.

When you ride your bike on a sidewalk, you must to yield to pedestrians. Some sidewalk areas with heavy pedestrian traffic are signed prohibiting riding bicycles on the sidewalk.

When you ride on the road, your bike is a vehicle and you must obey traffic laws.

  • Scan the road behind. Learn to look back over your shoulder without losing your balance or swerving left. Some riders use helmet-mounted or bike-mounted rear-view mirrors. Always look back before changing lanes or changing positions within your lane, and only move when no other vehicle is in your way.
  • Go slowly on sidewalks and bike paths. Pedestrians have the right-of-way. Give pedestrians audible (horn/bell/word) warning when you pass. Don’t cross driveways or intersections without slowing to walker’s pace and looking very carefully for traffic, especially traffic turning right.
  • When on the road, ride in a straight line whenever possible. Ride with, not against, the traffic. Keep to the right, but stay about a car-door-width away from parked cars.

  • Avoid road hazards. Watch out for parallel-slat sewer grates, slippery manhole covers, oily pavement, gravel and ice. Cross railroad tracks and speed bumps carefully at right angles. Norman has a number of designated “bike routes” which are signed and marked for bike traffic. Use these routes whenever possible.
  • Choose the best way to turn left. There are two ways to make a left turn:
    1. Like an auto, look, signal, move into the left lane, and turn left.
    2. Like a pedestrian, ride straight to the far-side crosswalk. Walk your bike across.
  • Obey traffic signs and signals. By law, cyclists must obey traffic laws when bicycles are ridden on streets and roads within the State of New Mexico and Texas.

  • Ride a properly equipped bike.
    1. Always use a strong headlight and taillight at night and when visibility is poor. (By law, in New Mexico, to ride at night you must have a light-emitting headlight visible for at least 500 feet and a red reflector visible for 50 to 300 feet from the rear. Most states have similar laws.)
    2. Be sure your bike is adjusted to fit you properly.
    3. For safety and efficiency, outfit it with a horn/bell, rear-view mirror(s), fenders (for rainy rides), and racks, baskets or bike bags.

TIPS FOR BICYCLISTS:
HOW TO RIDE IN TRAFFIC

Rule 1: Be Predictable
Ride so drivers can see you and predict your movements.

  1. Obey traffic signs and signals. Bicycles must obey traffic laws like other vehicles.
  2. Never ride against traffic. Motorists aren’t looking for bicyclists riding on the left side of the road. Ride on the right, with the traffic.
  3. Use hand signals when initiating a turn. Hand signals tell motorists what you intend to do. Signal as a matter of law, of courtesy and of self-protection.
  4. Ride in a straight line. Whenever possible, ride in a straight line, to the right of traffic but about a car-door-width away from parked cars.
  5. Don’t weave between parked cars. Don’t ride over to the curb between parked cars, unless they are far apart. Motorists may not see you when you move back into traffic.
  6. Ride in middle of lane in slow traffic. Get in the middle of the lane at busy intersections and whenever you are moving at the same speed as traffic. (Remember, your bike IS a vehicle when on the road and you ARE allowed to operate it in the middle of the traffic lane, not just at the right edge, when traffic is slow. You’re also responsible for signaling and stopping at stop signs and traffic lights like other vehicles.)
  7. Follow lane markings. Don’t turn left from the right lane. Don’t go straight in a lane marked right-turn-only.
  8. Choose the best way to turn left. Remember: There are two ways to make a left turn. 1) Like an auto. Signal, move into the left lane and turn left. 2) Like a pedestrian.
  9. Don’t pass on the right. Motorists may not look for or see a bicycle passing on the right.
  10. Go slow on shared paths. Yield to pedestrians. Give pedestrians audible warning when you pass. Do not ride on sidewalks where prohibited.
  11. When biking with others, ride in line when other traffic is present.
  12. Watch out for the parked car doors.

Rule 2: Be Alert
Ride defensively and expect the unexpected.

  1. Watch for cars pulling out. Make eye contact with drivers. Assume they don’t see you until you are sure they do.
  2. Scan the road behind. Learn to look back over your shoulder without losing your balance or swerving left. Some riders use rear-view mirrors.
  3. Avoid road hazards. Watch for sewer grates, slippery manhole covers, oily spots, gravel, and ice. Cross railroad tracks carefully at right angles.

  4. Keep both hands ready to brake. You may not stop in time if you brake one-handed. Allow extra distance for stopping in the rain.
  5. Watch for chasing dogs. Ignore them, or try a firm, loud, “NO.” If you can’t get away, dismount with your bike between you and the dog. Call Animal Control or your local Police Dept. on your Plateau cell phone.

Rule 3: Be Equipped
You’ll ride more easily and safely.

  1. Keep the bike in good repair. Adjust your bike to fit you, and keep it working properly. Check brakes and tires regularly.
  2. Use lights at night or when visibility is poor. The law requires a strong headlight and rear reflector or tail light at night.

  3. Dress appropriately. In rain, wear a poncho or a parka made of fabric that “breathes”. Generally dress in layers so you can adjust to temperature changes. Avoid loose clothing. Purchase a “strap” at a local bike store to control your right pant leg to avoid catching in the chain.
  4. Use a pack or rack to carry things. Saddlebags, racks, baskets, and backpacks are all good ways to carry packages, freeing your hands for safe riding.
  5. Always wear an ANSI or Snell approved helmet. This reduces the potential for head injury by 85%.

· Place the helmet low on the forehead, just above the eyebrows.

· Helmet straps should be snug under the chin so the helmet stays in the same position.

· Helmet should not move back and forth or side to side.

Official IMBA Mountain Bike Rules of the Trail and Mountain Bike Safety

The following is the official list of mountain biking rules of the trail from IMBA, otherwise known as the International Mountain Bicycling Association. These mountain bike rules are designed to minimize our impact on our environment as well as promote friendly relationships between all trail users by creating a safe environment for us all. By following these rules we help ensure our access to trails in our local communities will continue and hopefully grow. Riding in control not only helps prevent crashes, it keeps others on the trail safe as well. When you ride out of control, you lose the ability to adjust to the terrain and environment as you pass through it. This can and does lead to dangerous crashes and injury to yourself and others.

Mountain biking is inherently dangerous and we all like to push the limits sometimes, but there is a fine line between pushing the limits safely and pushing them recklessly. Follow these steps to stay safe on the trails and on the right side of the danger line.

Gear up
Always wear a helmet and any other appropriate safety equipment for the riding conditions.

Never Ride Beyond Your Abilities
There is no shame in walking sections of the trail you don’t feel confident enough to ride, and don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.

Use Appropriate Equipment for the Terrain
Some bikes are better for different situations. Just because you can see tire tracks, doesn’t mean you can ride it with your bike.

Keep Your Speed in Check
Always keep your speed at a level that will allow you to adjust to any unforeseen obstacles or changes in trail conditions.

Know the Trail
Never push the limits on a trail you are not familiar with. You need to get to know the trail you are riding at slower speeds before you can ride it like the trails you’re used to.

Slow Down for Blind Corners
You never know what or who is around a corner when you can’t see past it.

Stop and Look
Stop and look at sections of the trail that look like they may pose a challenge before you ride them.

Plan on the Crash
Always look at the consequences of crashing in a particular section or on a particular stunt before trying to ride through it. Sometimes a section can look easy to ride but can have deadly consequences to a crash.

Start Small, Go Big
Work your way up to obstacles and stunts. Find ways to practice moves in less difficult and dangerous situations or at lower speeds before committing yourself to something more dangerous.

Play It Smart
If you think what you are doing is not the smartest, you are probably right. Think about what you are doing and trust your instincts.

Every mountain biker should know and live by these mountain biking rules from IMBA:

Mountain Bike Rules of the Trail


The way we ride today shapes mountain bike trail access tomorrow. Do your part to preserve and enhance our sport’s access and image by observing the following rules of the trail, formulated by IMBA, the International Mountain Bicycling Association. These rules are recognized around the world as the standard code of conduct for mountain bikers. IMBA’s mission is to promote mountain bicycling that is environmentally sound and socially responsible.

1. Ride On Open Trails Only.
Respect trail and road closures – ask if uncertain; avoid trespassing on private land; obtain permits or other authorization as may be required. Federal and state Wilderness areas are closed to cycling. The way you ride will influence trail management decisions and policies.

2. Leave No Trace.
Be sensitive to the dirt beneath you. Recognize different types of soils and trail construction; practice low-impact cycling. Wet and muddy trails are more vulnerable to damage. When the trail bed is soft, consider other riding options. This also means staying on existing trails and not creating new ones. Don’t cut switchbacks. Be sure to pack out at least as much as you pack in.

3. Control Your Bicycle!
Inattention for even a second can cause problems. Obey all bicycle speed regulations and recommendations.

4. Always Yield Trail.
Let your fellow trail users know you’re coming. A friendly greeting or bell is considerate and works well; don’t startle others. Show your respect when passing by slowing to a walking pace or even stopping. Anticipate other trail users around corners or in blind spots. Yielding means slow down, establish communication, be prepared to stop if necessary and pass safely.

5. Never Scare Animals.
All animals are startled by an unannounced approach, a sudden movement, or a loud noise. This can be dangerous for you, others, and the animals. Give animals extra room and time to adjust to you. When passing horses use special care and follow directions from the horseback riders – ask if uncertain. Running cattle and disturbing wildlife is a serious offense. Leave gates as you found them, or as marked.

6. Plan Ahead.
Know your equipment, your ability, and the area in which you are riding — and prepare accordingly. Be self-sufficient at all times, keep your equipment in good repair, and carry necessary supplies for changes in weather or other conditions. A well-executed trip is a satisfaction to you and not a burden to others. Always wear a helmet and appropriate safety gear.

Keep trails open by setting a good example of environmentally sound and socially responsible off-road cycling.

BIKE SAFETY SUMMARY
Bicycles have the right to use on our roads; however, use of Interstate highways by bicycles is discouraged. Bicyclists Must:

  • Obey traffic lights, stop signs, one-way streets and other basic traffic laws.

    A bicyclist has the same rights and duties on the road as drivers of other vehicles, and some additional responsibilities.

  • Ride as far “as practicable” to the right (or to the outside lanes on a one-way street), particularly when automobile traffic is moving faster than you are.
  • Be prepared to yield at all times.
  • Use hand signals when turning or moving from a lane.
  • Yield the right-of-way to pedestrians. Give audible warning when overtaking a pedestrian.
  • Keep at least one hand on handlebars. Keep control of the bicycle at all times.

  • Use a headlight with a white light visible from at least 500 feet ahead, and a red reflector visible from at least 50 to 300 feet behind, when riding from sunset to sunrise or whenever visibility is poor.
  • Keep brakes adjusted so that, when braked, your bicycle skids on clean dry pavement.
  • Ride astride a fixed seat (kiddy seat and tandems acceptable). Riding “double” is discouraged.
  • Ride no more than two abreast.

Remember, your bicycle is a small, inconspicuous vehicle. It is not easily seen on crowded streets and will seldom attract attention on its own. At all times, do everything you can to make sure you are noticed. Safety First, Safety Always, Safety is our target.

Today’s post comes to us courtesy of Ken Oswald

Safety and Security Manager for Plateau

keno


Go Orange for Work Zone Safety Awereness Week

Support the men and women working to improve your highways, roadways and streets by Going Orange for Work Zone Safety Week. These workers could be your family, friends, or the neighbor down the street. Help us encourage everyone to pay attention in work zones and help save lives.

Go Orange for Work Zone Safety kicks off April 23. There isnt one just one way to Go Orange for Work Zone Safety. Wear orange, find your favorite orange symbol. Just be creative and have fun. See how some went orange in 2011.

Don’t Barrel Through Work Zones! Drive Smart to Arrive Alive
2012 National Work Zone Awareness Week, April 23-27

Post or send a photos on the Go Orange for Work Zone Safety photo gallery or tell us why you are Going Orange on the WSDOT Facebook page.

www.flickr.com

Businesses can participate too. Just post a photo of your employees, or turn your building orange. If you send us a logo, we can list your business in our Whos In page. See how businesses can turn their building orange on the How to Participate page.

Drivers generally dont think they are at risk in work zones but they’re wrong:

  • Washington averages almost 1,000 highway work zone injuries each year.
  • 99 percent the people injured or killed in work zone collisions are drivers and their passengers.
  • Most injuries and deaths in work zones are caused by rear-end collisions.
  • Inattentive drivers are not prepared for sudden slow downs and last minute lane changes in work zones.

Work zone survival tips:

  • Slow down to the posted speed and pay attention.
  • Merge as soon as possible.
  • Expect delays, plan for them and leave early or use an alternate route if one is available.

Traffic Safety Alert- National Workzone Safety Awareness

National Work Zone Awareness Week Apr 23-27, 2012.

Work Zones Need Your Undivided Attention

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, dont 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 comes to us courtesy of Ken Oswald

Safety and Security Manager for Plateau

koswald