Work Zones present many hazards
Winter is coming but road construction won’t stop until the ground freezes, at the earliest. Some construction sites will continue past that. Regardless, we are still navigating orange barrels.
Everyone knows to slow down and be careful when entering a construction zone on the highway. But does everyone know that there are approximately 40,000 crashes in work zones every year? Nationally, three people are killed every day in a work zone.
It’s true that transportation-related fatalities are the most common cause of death for construction works across the country, but not each of the three daily deaths are construction workers.
Drivers are killed too. Both CMV operators and motorists.
That makes sense when you think of the dangerous obstacles in a work zone; heavy equipment, cement embankments, narrow, quick lane changes and craters awaiting concrete, to name four. Here’s what you can do to better prepare for construction zone navigation:
- Slow down, maintain extra following space and be more prepared to stop.
- Obey all work zone signs and signals.
- Scan ahead for changing traffic patterns and be extra alert to vehicles entering your blind spots.
- Keep a sharp eye out for road workers and flag crews.
It’s also noteworthy that fines are doubled if you get a ticket in a work zone. And hitting and killing a worker now usually means jail time.
The most common accident in a work zone is rear-end crashes caused from speeding and distracted driving. So, watch your speed and keep your eyes glued to the roadway.
The National Workzone Safety Information Clearinghouse reports more than 45 percent of worker deaths at construction sites were caused by vehicles striking workers who were walking.
Obviously, that means we must be ever vigilant to avoid workers who are moving on foot through the work zone and maybe not watching for us.
Don’t worry, the “orange barrel” season will be over soon.