10 Tips for Highway Safety in a Work Zone
Driving past highway construction is no rare occurrence. Many people drive by highway construction daily. Whether you have been driving for decades or just got your license to drive recently, anyone can find themselves in an accident while driving through a construction work zone. At J-Tech USA, we offer crash cushion leasing along with other highway safety equipment to help prevent injury.
Every year there are an estimated 865 fatalities occurring in road work zones. 750 of those fatalities come from vehicle crashes, while the other 115 are work-related injuries involving workers.
The tips listed below are important in helping you and the workers in work zones to reach home safely.
- Expect the unexpected - In most cases, normal speed limits are reduced, traffic lanes can be altered, and workers may be closer to open lanes than they usually are. Slow down and be more aware while driving through a construction zone.
If you are traveling through a work zone at night you will often encounter workers using a balloon light to increase visibility. Do not be panicked by the change is brightness.
- Be alert of warning signs - Workers will plant diamond shape orange signs alerting you of an active construction work zone ahead. Start to slow down and prepare a possible back up upon entering a work zone.
- Look for a flagger - It isn't required for a flagger to be present at a construction zone but more times than not you will see a flagger giving specific instructions for traffic. Not following a flaggers request can lead to a citation.
- Be patient - Contrary to popular belief, construction zones are not there to personally inconvenience you. They’re necessary for the improvement of roads and highways.
- Remain alert of other drivers - Occasionally you may be required to merge lanes due to the lane being closed ahead. Don't wait until the last possible second to merge lanes. Do so at a safe and responsible distance. If everyone can merge safely, the quicker the flow of traffic will become.
- Slow down - Driving too fast through a construction is dangerous for you, as well as extremely dangerous for the workers. A vehicle driving at 60 mph, a common speed limit, travels 88 feet per second.
- Drive defensively - The most common type of car crash in a work zone is a rear-end collision. A rear-end collision occurs when a driver was not paying enough attention to the road, or traveling at too high of a speed to allow proper room for braking.
- Drive defensively… again - Not only is it important to maintain a safe distance between the vehicles in front of you, it’s even more important to maintain a safe distance between your vehicle and traffic barriers. Not maintaining a safe distance between you and traffic barriers increases your chance of hitting construction equipment or construction workers.
Crash attenuators have helped reduce the amount of fatal accidents involving construction equipment drastically. Balloon lights have also helped reduced the amount of workers hit by cars due to low visibility.
- Obey posted signs until posted otherwise - Work zones can be mobile, just because you do not see any workers anymore, doesn't mean you're out of a work zone area. Follow instructed your state's work zone traffic laws and traffic signs posted until you see a sign indicating that you have left a work zone.
- Expect delays - If you know your commute involves work zones, plan accordingly. Highway agencies use many different ways to inform commuters of the location and duration of work zones. Often, agencies will create a detour to help you avoid the work zone all together.
While following the listed of ideas above, it is also helpful to be an alert driver at all times, not just while driving through construction zones. Put down the phone and stay alert to the road around you. No text-message is ever worth risking your life. Be smart and drive safe.
We’re all about highway safety here at J-Tech USA, and we’ll service all of your needs, whether that involves buying or selling a crash attenuator truck or renting safety support equipment. To learn more about highway safety equipment, contact us at 610-816-0380 or go to Array.