- The Hazard: death or serious injury from being struck by vehicles or equipment in work zones.
- Who is at risk: streets/highways, utilities and other public works department workers who maintain roadways, bridges, sewers, catch basins, etc.
- Prevention: reducing the speed of vehicles, traffic control plans warning motorists of work zones, guiding traffic safely through the work zone, and returning passing vehicles to normal traffic flow.
- Laws: The U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) enforced the MUTCD (29 CFR 1926.200-203).
- Pay attention to the orange diamond-shaped warning signs or electronic message boards posted in advance of a road construction project.
- Stay alert. Dedicate your full attention to driving.
- Minimize distractions. Avoid changing radio stations, using a cell phone, etc. while driving in a work zone.
- Drive carefully and slowly through the construction site; always obey the posted speed limits in the work zone area.
- Pay close attention and heed directions on work zone warning signs. Signs and work zone flaggers save lives.
- Watch for stopped or slowing traffic. Do not tailgate.
- Expect the unexpected. Anticipate potential dangers.
- Watch how the traffic ahead is flowing.
- Keep an eye out for construction workers, their equipment and vehicles, as well as the vehicles around you.
- Use extra caution when driving through a site at night.
- Watch for detours and lane diversions.
- Speed up or slow down significantly while going through a work zone.
- Slow down to look at the construction work being done.
- Resume normal speed until after you emerge completely out of the work zone area.
- Tailgate. Most of the accidents within a work zone are rear-end collisions.
- Change lanes within a work zone.
Most states have instituted new laws regarding work zones; penalties for speeding in these areas are double that of the normal penalties for speeding in a non-work zone stretch of road.