Every day, people employed by state and local transportation authorities put their lives on the line to protect and preserve the nation’s infrastructure. This seemingly humdrum work is essential to the United States’ position as a global leader of trade and commerce. The nation is largely defined by its extensive and well-maintained network of roads, bridges and railroads.
Unfortunately, work zone fatalities and injuries are exceptionally common. It’s extremely important for anyone conducting road maintenance or repair to exercise the utmost caution as they work on roadways and highways.
April 8-12 is National Work Zone Awareness Week. This is a time to reflect upon the danger and sacrifices that workers put themselves through each and every day to keep our infrastructure running. In 2017, there were 799 work zone fatalities in the United States. 132 workers died because of work zone crashes.
Thankfully, here in Vermont, there were zero fatal work zone crashes. Work zone signs in Vermont likely played a role in preventing potentially hazardous incidents. Together, we can keep the Green Mountain State’s work zone safety record running strong. Here are just a few tips to follow next time you’re driving through a work zone that will minimize your risk of crashing and help protect the workers preserving our nation’s infrastructure:
- Expect the unexpected: Always expect unforeseen conditions and hazards when navigating a work zone. You should be actively scanning the road as you drive, carefully avoiding potential issues like collapsed cones, piles of debris or moving equipment. Be sure to also keep your eyes open for workers who may be out on the roadway.
- Pay attention to signs: Work zone signs in Vermont are the number one cue that you have to follow when driving through an active construction area. You should be sure to follow the signs’ instructions carefully and comprehensively. Not following signs can lead to crashes and potentially even cause loss of life.
- Follow directions: If there’s a flagger providing you with directions, follow them. If you can’t understand the flagger’s gestures, roll your window down and ask for clarification. They’re likely directing you away from a potential hazard, so it’s exceptionally important that you pay attention and do as they say.
- Slow your roll: Always drive more slowly than the posted speed limit when navigating a construction zone. Speeding is the number one cause of death in work areas. Be sure to maintain a safe following distance between you and the vehicle in front of you, and exercise caution when driving alongside another vehicle.
- Plan ahead: It’s easy to tell where a work zone is going to be. If there’s an active construction area along your route, plan ahead. You can either change your route to avoid it, or leave early so that you don’t feel pressured to move through the zone more quickly.
Worksafe Traffic Control Industries is a trusted provider of work zone signs in Vermont. We’re proud to support Vermont’s road worker community. To learn more about our comprehensive safety solutions, and to determine if they’re right for your next project, reach out to one of our friendly representatives.