By Noelle Kimball
Once I see that the cars are slowing down, I always get frustrated and then I see that the cars are merging to one lane (way too late) and all that makes me think is, ugh…it must be road construction. I’m sure some of you have the same feelings and after researching this topic I feel very guilty. Not only are work zones good, because that means that our roads are being improved upon and made safer, but it also provides jobs to our economy.
So, why do I get so frustrated when I come upon a work zone? Impatience probably. Or maybe it’s that person who sped by everyone and at the last minute and wants to merge in front of me, I’m sure you know the one. But, I do understand the importance of driving safe and being aware while I am in the work zone. Fines and tickets are usually double or triple, depending on your state, and very expensive. And, an even more important reason is that people are actually working in this area. I can’t imagine what it would be like to go to work everyday on the road, where people are impatiently speeding by you. That’s why this week is Work Zone Awareness Week. To remind drivers, like me, to be aware and careful at these “places of business.”
The Department of Transportation offers 10 tips that should help with your awareness while driving through that oh-so-common work zone:
- Expect the unexpected. (Normal speed limits may be reduced, traffic lanes changed and people working very close to the road).
- Slow Down. (Speeding is the major causes of work zone crashes)
- Don’t tailgate. Keep a safe distance between you and the car ahead of you. (The most common crash in a highway work zone is the rear end collision.)
- Keep a safe distance between your vehicle and construction workers.
- Pay attention to the signs. Enough said.
- Obey road crew workers.
- Stay alert and minimize distractions.
- Keep up with the traffic flow. (Don’t drive right up to the lane closure and then try to barge in.)
- Schedule enough time to drive safely and check for traffic information before you began your journey.
- Be patient and stay calm. (Work zones aren’t there to personally inconvenience you.)