Every year, an average of 700 accidents take place in road construction work zones. While construction workers can attend a traffic control course in Sydney or any other city and will know all the safety nuances, drivers should pay extra attention to the dangers of road construction. Trucks and buses are known to cause most work zone crashes, as they can be more challenging to maneuver in blind spots and limited spaces. However, by being mindful of your surroundings and road work, zone safety tips will increase road safety and reduce fatalities tenfold. Here are road construction safety tips for you.
9 Road Construction Work Zone Safety Tips for Drivers
1. Plan Ahead
When planning a trip, we always have our destination in mind and the route that will take us there. Before getting behind the wheel, research your route. This way, you will get information on traffic delays and route changes due to road construction zones.
2. Be Attentive
You should keep your eyes open while driving through a work zone. Take note of the signs placed in the zone that could indicate speed, lane changes, and other vital information. Pay attention to the brake lights of the vehicles ahead of you and be ready to react. Don’t try to use your phone, radio, or GPS while driving. Avoid eating or drinking, as these are distractions you cannot risk having.
3. Slow Down
Speeding in a road construction zone is a major cause of accidents. It is common to find lane closures, reduced speed, and changed traffic patterns in work zones. Drivers who violate these traffic rules may receive a double fine. Slow down as you approach the construction workers, give them room, and be ready to stop when they say otherwise.
4. Avoid Tailgating
If there is a car ahead of you, keep a safe distance. A rear-end collision is a common road work zone fatality. Don’t try to cut off buses or trucks. Additionally, maintain a safe distance between your vehicle, the construction materials, and the workers.
5. Expect the Unusual
When in a construction work zone, expect speed limits, equipment, and people working along the road. Be ready for work vehicles to enter your lane without warning. Vehicles may also unexpectedly stop, slow down, or change lanes.
6. Move in an Open Lane
Drive into the open lane early as you approach a lane closure. Pay attention to vehicles around you to avoid blind spots and traffic shifts. Look out for road markings that indicate when to change lanes and maintain pace with the traffic flow by merging. Keep in mind, traffic patterns change every day.
7. Read the Signs
Common signs to look out include “Road Work” sign that will prepare you for unusual driving conditions. Also, there may be a flagger ahead, a detour of 1000 feet, or signs indicating changing lanes or traffic. Keeping track of the signs will help you stay alert and aware of any changes happening along the road.
8. Obey the Road Flaggers
Flaggers give directions to drivers to move through the work zone traffic safely. Their authority is similar to regulatory signs, and you can be cited for disobeying them.
9. Be Patient
Be calm and patient as you go through the work zone. Traffic snarl-ups are common around road construction zones. Therefore, include additional time travel if you have a construction zone in your route.
Driving through a road construction work zone with foresight and patience is advisable. This will ensure your drive is stress-free and safe for you and anyone around. Despite seeming like an inconvenience, you should remember that road work zones are a way to improve the roads and make them safer.