O&R: For Safety's Sake, Use Caution Driving in Work Zones
That request comes during National Work Zone Awareness Week, which for 20 years has highlighted the safety issues affecting workers whose jobs are performed in the nation’s roads, streets and highways.
The men and women who are working in the street on O&R equipment upgrades, maintenance or repairs protect themselves from traffic by setting up cones, flares, barricades and other warning devices that mark their work zone.
Despite those precautions, motorists — because of ignorance, inattention, haste or carelessness — on occasion drive into these zones and accidents occur.
According to accident statics, work zone accidents are far more deadly for motorists and their passengers. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) reports that 85 percent of those killed in work zone accidents are drivers or occupants of cars passing through the zone.
So, drivers, take a moment to review some tips from the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) for drivers to navigate work zones more safely:
- Drive carefully and slowly through the construction site.
- Keep an eye out for workers in the street, their equipment and their vehicles.
- Pay close attention and follow directions on work zone signs and traffic instructions from flaggers or workers.
- Watch for stopped or slowing traffic. Do not tailgate.
- Stay in your lane. Keep track of warning flares, cones and barricades that mark the work zone. Do not drive over flares or cones, and do not attempt to move barricades.
- Do not pull out of your lane into oncoming traffic in an attempt to bypass work zone traffic.
- Do not resume your normal speed until you emerge completely out of the work zone area. Use extra caution when driving through a work zone at night.
- Use extra caution when driving through a work zone at night.
- Put down the phone.