A Cemstone Companies Safety Edition
NATIONAL WORK ZONE AWARENESS
Spring is here and road construction season is underway! Work zones play a key role in maintaining and upgrading our nation’s roadways. Unfortunately, daily changes in traffic patterns, narrowed rights-of-way, lane closures, and other construction activities often create a combination of factors resulting in crashes, injuries, and fatalities. The key message for drivers is to use extra caution in work zones and be aware of your surroundings as well as the workers on the road.
The Federal Highway Administration reports the number of deaths in crashes that occur in work zones. From 1982 through 2020, 29,493 individuals (about 776 per year) lost their lives in work zone crashes. From 2003-2020, 2,222 workers lost their lives at road construction sites, an average of 123 per year (The Bureau of Labor Statistics).
Commercial motor vehicle (CMV) and passenger vehicle drivers both need to be particularly careful while traveling through work zones. Trucks and buses have limited maneuverability and large blind spots, both of which make operating in these areas more challenging for them. In fact, large trucks are disproportionately involved in work zone crashes.
STAY SAFE WHILE TRAVELING THROUGH WORK ZONES
RESEARCH YOUR ROUTE
Before setting out on the road, research your route. When possible, avoid work zones and use any detours that are available.
You should always keep your eyes on the road, but this is exceptionally important in work zones. Be aware of all signage throughout work zones that can indicate reduced speeds, lane changes and other important information. Avoid distractions such as your cellphone, eating, drinking, the radio, GPS and conversing with other passengers.
Lane closures, traffic pattern shifts and reduced speeds are common in work zones. Make sure to slow down when entering a work zone and keep an eye out for road workers
MOVE INTO THE OPEN LANE
When approaching lane closures, move into the open lane as soon as possible. Be sure to pay close attention to vehicles around you that could be in your blind spot.
KEEP YOUR DISTANCE
Rear-end crashes are extremely common in work zones – maintain extra space between your vehicle and the one in front of you at all times.
Source: Federal Highway Administration