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Road Safety
Road Safety Near Construction Zones/ Road works

Road Safety for Motorists at Construction Zones/Road Works

Perhaps the best way to avoid long delays, frustration, and the potential for an accident is to avoid construction zones whenever possible. If a construction zone is unavoidable, drivers should allow extra time in their schedules in case there are traffic delays. Every safe driver has a responsibility to exercise caution and good judgment in construction zones. Consideration for the safety of construction workers and other motorists can help turn highway construction areas into “safe zones” for everyone.

Before embarking on the road to the construction zone it is advised to schedule enough time to drive safely and to check the radio or internet websites for traffic information. Expect delays and leave early so you can reach your destination on time. Safety professionals recommend several precautions to help make construction zones safer for everyone:

  • When approaching a construction/maintenance situation exercise caution and slow down.
  • Observe warning and caution signs before entering a construction zone.
  • Observe these posted signs until you see the one that says you've left the work zone.
  • Turn on your lights to make your vehicle more visible.
  • Expecting the unexpected is a golden rule when travelling through construction zones.
  • Avoid abrupt driving manoeuvres.
  • Always be aware that vehicles ahead of you may stop unexpectedly.
  • Maintain a safe following distance. Rear-end collisions are one of the most common types of construction zone accidents.
  • Drivers should slow to the posted speed and move to the proper lane as instructed.
  • Traffic and road conditions may dictate an even slower speed.
  • Keep up with the traffic flow. Motorists can help maintain traffic flow and posted speeds by merging smoothly and not slowing to "gawk" at road work and equipment and crews.
  • Obey road crew flaggers! The flagger knows what is best for moving traffic safely in the work zone. A flagger has the same authority as a regulatory sign, so you can be cited for disobeying his or her direction.
  • Drivers should not wait until the last minute to merge to the correct lane.
  • Use correct merging techniques when changing lanes – use your indicators.
  • Narrow lanes and restricted shoulders make construction zones a common place for lane-change accidents.
  • Regular traffic lanes are often shifted to temporary lanes and shoulders that may not provide the stability regular traffic lanes offer.
  • Stay alert for aggressive drivers. If another motorist is aggressively jockeying for position, drivers should let them move on. Challenging another driver encourages road rage and endangers the safety of other motorists and workers in the area.
  • Avoid distracting activities. Remaining alert for unexpected hazards is critical when travelling through construction zones. Talking on a cell phone, tuning the radio, eating, reading, or other similarly distracting activities can quickly lead to an accident.
  • Watch for construction equipment and workers. Construction equipment entering and exiting a work zone without warning, equipment extending into traffic, and construction crews and flaggers working dangerously close to moving traffic are a few of the hazards to expect.
  • Stay alerted for obstacles and debris. Construction equipment, signs, and barriers may be located close to the edge of the roadway. Debris from work projects, especially dust, dirt, and gravel, may cause added disruption.
  • Be patient, cautious, and courteous. Remember, the work zone crew members are working to improve the road and make your future drive better.