Three out of four work zone crashes are caused by drivers.
It’s road construction time, and UDOT has over 200 active work zones. The most important thing drivers should remember is to “slow down and pay extra attention when driving through a work zone, especially this year when we have so many projects,” said UDOT spokesman Nate McDonald in an article in the Standard Examiner.
An Associated General Contractors of America survey found that 68 percent of contractors said that motor vehicles crashed into their construction work zones during the past year. The same study also found that work zone crashes are more likely to kill construction workers than vehicle operators.
“Any time your job site is just a few feet away from fast moving traffic, things can get a little too exciting,” said Tom Brown, chairman of AGC’s national highway and transportation division. “Since construction workers don’t get the option of wearing seatbelts, they are more likely to be killed in a work zone crash than motorists are,” he stressed.
When driving in work zones, remember to manage your speed, your space and your stress. Here are some great tips:
- Slow Down when approaching all work zones. You will be in the work zone quicker than you think.
- Follow Posted Speed Limits, especially within construction zones, and try to maintain a consistent speed with the traffic flow. And adjust your speed for weather conditions.
- Don’t Resume Normal Speed until you see roadway signs indicating it’s safe to do so.
- Leave braking room, at least two car lengths, between your vehicle and the one ahead of you. The most common crash in a highway work zone is a rear-end collision.
- Keep a safe distance between your vehicle and traffic barriers, trucks, construction equipment and workers.
- Don’t pass on the shoulder or drive across the median – doing so creates a very dangerous situation for you, workers and other motorists.
- Watch out for tailgaters and don’t force tailgaters to back off by slamming on your brakes or reducing your speed significantly.
- Stay calm and don’t rush. Construction zone inconvenience means that improved roads are soon to come.
- Pay attention and avoid distractions like cell phones or the radio.
- UDOT limits construction delay as much as possible but some delay is inevitable. Use UDOT Traffic to check your route and leave early or take an alternate route.