Near the end of spring and summer there is a greater amount of roadwork as well as the number of trips, that increases in many areas of the US, factors that contribute for more accidents in work zones (?). There are other reasons that can also cause accidents, such as drivers who are impatient with road congestion and delays; construction equipment moving in and out of the roads; lane closures; detours; and distracted drivers looking at the construction activities.
Do you know?
- Every year approximately 700 people die in accidents in roadwork zones.
- Four out of five people killed are drivers, not highway workers.
- Heavy trucks are involved in fewer accidents, but their percentage of fatal crashes is almost twice as high compared to vehicles carrying passengers.
- Of all the accidents in roadwork zones, 75 percent occur during the day.
- Almost half (42 percent) of all accidents in roadwork zones happen because a vehicle crashes into another vehicles’ rear.
- Lack of attention while driving or being too close to another vehicle are the main factors contributing to fatal accidents.
Driving in roadwork zones is an additional challenge for professional truck drivers. Here are some recommendations that may help:
- Plan for and seek alternative routes. This website provides access to nationwide road closures: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/trafficinfo/.
- Look for informative signs in advance. Detours signs, lane closures, uneven pavement, flagmen, etc.
- Reduce your speed and increase the following distance. This will provide additional time to identify potential dangers and react. Remember, 42 percent of accidents are vehicles crashing into another vehicles’ rear.
- Turn off cruise control. It will help you have better control over your vehicle.
- Move to the correct lane before the lanes are closed. Never wait until the line is closed to move over.
- Be very careful with construction vehicles. They can unexpectedly slow down or change lanes. Avoid following these vehicles off of the road.
- Avoid changing lanes in roadwork zones unless it is indicated. This can generate additional dangers in an environment that already is dangerous.
- Always be prepared for something unexpected. Such as confused drivers by lane turnouts; construction equipment operating near traffic lanes; and trucks moving equipment on and off the roads.
- Be patient. Remember roadwork zone teams are there to improve the road for you.