In the past five years there have been 4,276 fatalities due to crashes in work zones nationwide. About every year there are 40,000 injuries that take place in these areas as well and 85 percent of those injured or killed in work zones are drivers and their passengers. Road safety in construction zones isn’t just for the benefit of the workers, but also to keep you and your passengers safe. Almost all of these crashes can be avoided with the driver following simple traffic laws and staying alert. Take these precautions today to make sure you keep yourself and those around you safe.
When approaching a work zone or construction area slow down. These areas will give you plenty of warning that you are entering a construction area and you need to be well aware that vehicles ahead of you may be stopping unexpectedly.
. Flag workers and emergency personnel are out there for a reason. Be sure to obey the instructions they have on their signs and always be aware of speed limits. Speeding not only increases the risk of accidents, but also, speeding fines are usually doubled in construction areas and can end up costing you thousands of dollars. With the new camera system by Optotraffic, Inc., police officers don’t even have to be present to issue you a ticket so slow down!
When traveling through construction zones especially, stay alert and be aware of your surroundings. Don’t be distracted with cell phones or food. Stay focused on the road but also, be cautious of work vehicles entering the highway.
Always give yourself plenty of room between you and other vehicles. This gives you more time to react if there is unexpected stopping or even if a crash occurs. Commercial trucks need double this amount of room because they take more space when trying to maneuver.
It is extremely frustrating to drivers around you if you slow down just to check out what is happening. It also immensely increases the risk of being rear-ended or influencing aggressive driving.
Try not to become frustrated or agitated with traffic. Many people tend to tailgate when they reach a slower section of the road but don’t let these other drivers influence the way you drive. Keep your cool and don’t feel the need to increase your speed. You could be saving their life.
When traveling, go to each state’s department of transportation website and be aware of the location of construction zones. If at all possible, avoid them all together. A few extra minutes is nothing compared to losing a life.
Janae is a road safety advocate who writes about driving tips, road safety, and dealing with dangers on the road. She enjoys visiting Opto Traffic on Vimeo to learn more about speeding cameras’ safety benefits, and follows @OptotrafficInc