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Work Zone Awareness Week

work zone awareness week

by Gene McGuire

Have you ever been running late on your commute to work and suddenly the red taillights of the cars in front of you illuminate as the cars begin to slow or stop? Suddenly, you see the signs you dread when you’re pressed for time: “Lane Ends Merge Left” or “Construction Next 2 miles.”

Arrrr! Not today!

Orange plastic traffic cones are pushing three lanes into one and it’s obvious you should have left for work earlier or chosen a different route. If you commute daily you have likely experienced this road or work zone frustration. Although irritating, construction is inevitable and necessary.
As city’s grow and age there is a need to improve the roadways. And with the warmer weather of Spring, construction and work on roadways is beginning to shift into high gear. Work or Construction zone activities lead to traffic delays, loss of lanes, narrowed right-of-ways, resulting in crashes, injuries, and fatalities.

NATIONAL WORK ZONE
AWARENESS WEEK
April 8 – 12

Click here for
the FHWA Work Zone
Driving Safety Factsheet

Orange plastic traffic cones are pushing three lanes into one and it’s obvious you should have left for work earlier or chosen a different route. If you commute daily you have likely experienced this road or work zone frustration. Although irritating, construction is inevitable and necessary.

As city’s grow and age there is a need to improve the roadways. And with the warmer weather of Spring, construction and work on roadways is beginning to shift into high gear.

Work or Construction zone activities lead to traffic delays, loss of lanes, narrowed
This week is National Work Zone Awareness Week.

Each Spring, at the start of construction season, NWZAW is held to bring attention to motorist and worker safety in work zones.

The event encourages safe driving through highway work zones and remembers those lost in work zone accidents. Work zone incidents affect everyone. In addition to vehicle crashes and fatalities, it is the leading cause of death in road and bridge construction. Drivers, passengers, and construction workers are all at risk.

Work Zone Driving Safety Tips

During Work Zone Awareness Week and all the rest of the year too, how you drive has more to do with your safety than anything else. Studies have show repeatedly that 98% of all auto collisions are caused by something driver chose to do. Make the decisions that will keep you and your passengers safe.

Slow down!
If you see orange cones or signs indicating construction ahead, reduce your speed. This will give you more time to see any kind of danger, and more time to respond the situation. And if you do hit something, your slower speed will reduce the damage.

Be aware of construction locations
There are phone apps and agency web sites that will give you location information for work zones. Use them and change your travel route.

Expect the Unexpected
Work zones can change daily and hourly. Lanes may shift and close from your previous day’s commute. Be alert!

“At the end of the day,
we want everyone to
return home safely
to their loved ones.”

James Bass, TX DOT
Executive Director

Avoid Distractions
Driving distracted in a work zone can be very dangerous. Turn off your phone and concentrate you full attention to the road.

Watch Other Drivers
Watching what other drivers are doing can alert you early of the need to slow down or change lanes for work zones.

Don’t Speed or Tailgate
Following too close or going too fast will impair your ability to react safely.

Watch For Warning Signs
Look for signs which alert a driver to road construction ahead.

Obey Road Crews
The construction flag crews know best how to move traffic safely though work zones.

Be Calm and Patient
Don’t get angry at the construction crew. It’s their job to improve the roadway for your future travel. Don’t take it personally.

And remember that however big a hurry you may be in and however much time that work zone may be costing you, getting into any kind of crash because you were careless or impatient will certainly eat up a lot more of your time.

Traffic Fines In Work Zones Can be Costly!

Texas Law requires drivers to move over or slowdown when approaching work crews, emergency vehicles, or tow trucks stopped on the roadside or shoulder with flashing blue or amber lights. If there is anything or anybody on the shoulder the best advice is to both move over and slow down.

In Texas, the traffic fines in work zones are double when workers are present and can cost up to $2,000.


Driving safety — both in work zones and everywhere else — is what we care about at Comedy Guys Defensive Driving. In every one of our live defensive driving classes and all through our online driving safety course, Comedy Guys works to make our students safer, better informed drivers.


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