The summer might be coming to an end, but “orange barrel” season is still going in full force in many parts of Northeast Ohio. It’s important that drivers stay focused and safe while driving through these construction zones; road work can mean narrower lanes or lane changes, large equipment impairing views or unexpectedly entering the road, and workers crossing the street or operating machinery.
According to the CDC, in the time period between 2003 and 2010, more than 950 road construction workers were killed while working at a road construction site. The majority of these deaths were from vehicles striking the workers. This is why it’s so important for drivers to practice construction zone safety while driving through these areas.
Staying Safe in Construction Zones
No matter what time of year your drivers are out on the road, chances are if they’re traveling along any major highways they’ll end up hitting at least one construction zone. Here are a few construction zone safety tips to keep in mind:
- Stay alert: Be aware of your surroundings when driving through a construction zone. Watch for narrower lanes and reduced speeds, as well as those highway workers and construction equipment entering the road.
- Watch out for the flagman: Some construction zones have flagmen, letting drivers know when it’s their turn to go and stop. Slow down when you’re approaching this important road worker and follow his prompts carefully.
- Follow the road signs: As you enter construction zones, you’ll start to see signs before you actually hit the roadwork. Make sure you pay attention to the posted speed limits so your car is at a safe speed for the area.
- Know when to merge: While you’re following those road signs, merge as soon as you can if they’re telling you one of the lanes is closed ahead. If everyone followed this rule, there wouldn’t be nearly as many back-ups on the highway!
- Minimize distractions: This is an important rule to follow no matter when you’re driving, but more so while traveling through a construction zone. Put down the cell phone, coffee, and wait to change that radio station- driver inattention is one of the most common causes of car accidents!
- Plan ahead: Of course, sometimes road construction is unexpected and all we can do is try to get through it. However, if you’re aware that an area you’ll be driving through is undergoing construction, plan ahead and expect delays. Leave a few minutes earlier so you won’t be rushing to get through it.
Prepare your drivers for traveling through highway construction zones by enrolling employees in classes at a premier driving school like DriveTeam! We offer corporate driver training to drivers of all ages to ensure everyone stays as safe as possible behind the wheel. Contact us today for more information.