At Worksafe Traffic Control Industries, our company’s main focus is delivering solutions that help make road construction zones safer for everyone, from workers to drivers to pedestrians. For the purposes of this blog post, we are going to focus on a few habits drivers should get into to ensure they drive safely through construction zones.
With that in mind, here are some tips for better and more reliable work zone safety in Vermont.
Remain alert of your surroundings
This is a good tip to follow for anywhere and anytime you drive, but especially when you’re entering a work zone. You will be alerted in advance that there is a work zone coming up—there are legal requirements for signage to be displayed alerting drivers to the upcoming presence of a work zone. When you see there is a work zone ahead, you should reduce your speed to the posted limit in the area, and keep your eyes focused on everything that’s happening around you. Notice where there are cones or barricades, where workers are actively working and if there are any hazards in the road that you should take into consideration.
Eliminate all distractions
Again, this is an important tip to follow anytime you’re behind the wheel, but it’s especially so in a work zone. You should never, ever use your phone for texting or browsing the internet while you’re behind the wheel—this is perilously unsafe. You should also avoid talking on the phone while driving through work zones, even if you’re using a hands-free setup. It can also be a good idea to turn down your music or turn it off completely, as this will help you put some of your focus back on to what’s happening on the road around you. The more distractions you can eliminate, the better you’ll be able to focus on your surroundings.
Watch other drivers
Being alert to your surroundings doesn’t just mean watching the construction workers and markers—it also means paying attention to what other drivers are doing on the road. You may be traveling with caution through a work zone, but you cannot always trust other drivers to do the same. Avoid tailgating, because there may be sudden stops in work zones due to unexpected hazards or the presence of workers. Allow others to merge safely when lanes are eliminated for work—cutting someone off or “protecting your spot” isn’t really going to get you through any faster. Be on the lookout for drivers who appear to be distracted, and leave them enough space so they don’t cause an accident.
There’s no need to get frustrated with the workers in a construction zone—they’re just doing their jobs. It’s understandable to be frustrated with a delay associated with road work, but there’s nothing the construction workers can do about it. Keep calm and get through the construction zone and go about your day.