Fatal work zone crashes are up 70% in Ohio from 2011 to 2012. Motorist error is the number one cause of work zone crashes. In fact, of the more than 5,000 work zone crashes annually on Ohio roads, more than one third of them are caused by drivers who follow too closely. Here are ten tips for driving safely in work zones:
- Expect the unexpected! Be aware of reduced speed limits, lane changes, construction workers and vehicles.
- Slow down! Be alert! Pay attention to signs! Diamond shaped, orange warning signs are posted in advance of construction activities.
- Obey the flagger! They have same authority as signs and you can be cited for disobeying flaggers too.
- Stay calm! Road construction is not there to personally inconvenience you but to improve the roads for everybody.
- Merge as soon as possible! Traffic flow and posted speeds can be maintained if you don’t create a bottleneck.
- Slow down when the sign says! Consider that at 60 mph your car travels 88 feet per second.
- Maintain at least two seconds of braking distance to the car in front of you!
- Maintain a safe distance between your vehicle and traffic barriers, construction equipment, and workers.
- Observe posted signs! Wait until you see the sign that states that you have left the work area to increase speed.
- Plan ahead and try an alternate route! Most highway agencies have web sites to alert to construction delays. Be an informed motorist.
Safety is everyone’s business – “Don’t barrel through the work zones!”