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10 Tips for Driving in Work Zones

Work zones can present an unfamiliar situation to drivers.  Changes in traffic patterns, closed or narrowed lanes and the presence of construction equipment and personnel can cause challenges for motorists as they travel through work zones.  Careful attention should be paid to their passengers, workers and pedestrians.  While safe and efficient work zones begin with proper planning, design and implementation, drivers must be attentive to changing conditions and exercise caution when they approach and travel through a work zone.

Follow the tips below for driving safely in work zones and help ensure everyone gets home safely:

• Expect the Unexpected.  Things may change overnight.  Normal speed limits may be reduced, traffic lanes may be closed, narrowed, or shifted and people may be working on or near the road.
• Don’t Speed.  Obey the posted speed limit at all times, even when workers are not present.
• Don’t Tailgate.  Keep a safe distance between you and the car ahead of you and the construction workers and their equipment.  Rear-end collisions account for 30% of work zone crashes.
• Obey Road Crew Flaggers and Pay Attention to Signs.  The flagger knows what is best for moving traffic safely in the work zone.  The warning signs are there to help you and other drivers move safely through the work zone.
• Stay Alert and Minimize Distractions.  Dedicate your full attention to the roadway and avoid changing radio stations or using cell phones and other electronic devices while approaching and driving in a work zone.
• Keep Up With the Traffic Flow.  Do not slow down to stare at road work.
• Know Before You Go.  Check radio, TV and websites for traffic information and schedule enough time to drive safely.  Expect delays and leave early so you can reach your destination on time.
• Be Patient and Stay Calm.  Work zones aren’t there to personally inconvenience you.  Remember, the work zone crew members are working to improve the road and make your future drive better.
• Wear Your Seatbelt.  It is your best defense in a crash.
• Remember.  Dads, moms, sons, daughters, brothers and sisters work here.

Source: US Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration (www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov)