Work Zone Safety Awareness: Pay Attention. Be Aware.
While all work zones are marked with signs and the public might be given advanced warnings, it is still up to you to remain alert and minimize distractions!
According to the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), in 2018, there were 701 crashes in work zones on state roads and bridges, resulting in 13 motorist fatalities and 329 injuries to motorists, contractor employees and NYSDOT staff in New York alone!
Highway employees must take proper precaution to ensure the safety of motorists in a work zone by taking sanctioned trainings and abiding by regulations as they repair and maintain our roadways!
However, they cannot account for your negligence while driving through their work environment.
These work zones are meant to protect the traveling public and the workers on the side of the road. This means that regular traffic patterns are altered, redirected and unfamiliar. While all work zones are marked with signs and the public might be given advanced warnings, it is still up to you to remain alert and minimize distractions!
Improve safety within highway work zones by following these tips:
- Move over! If possible for you to safely do so, move over a lane for any roadside signs displaying red, white, blue, amber or green lights.
- Watch for flagging staff. They play a vital role in keeping everyone safe in work zones. They have the same authority to direct traffic as signs, signals and police.
- Don’t drive distracted. Speed, cell phone use, distracted or aggressive driving can be especially dangerous in work zones.
- Watch for brake lights of vehicles ahead. Be prepared to react to sudden braking and keep a safe distance between you and other vehicles.
- Be aware of changes in normal traffic patterns. You may drive this particular road every day, but when there is a work zone, you must be prepared to follow any new traffic directions.
- Don’t speed. If there are posted speed limits, a fine for violating them could double. In addition, equipment and people could be just feet away.
- BE PATIENT. Workers, work vehicles, or equipment may enter your lane without warning; vehicles may slow, stop, or change lanes unexpectedly, too. Your patience is paramount in work zones!
Many factors contribute to work zone crashes, but by staying informed of where the work is being performed and using caution when driving through, you can do your part to ensure the safety of both staff and motorists! This information is intended for educational purposes only and is not legal advice and/or an authoritative guide.