April 9-13, 2018 celebrates National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW) supported by the American Traffic Safety Services Association. This awareness event takes place around the United State with various transportation departments, road safety organizations, companies, government agencies, and individuals. Work zones are areas most drivers will face at some point in their lives (probably on a regular basis). Most accidents in these areas can be prevented if we practice some common safety measures.
According to NWZAW.org, the goals of this awareness campaign are:
- Initiate efforts to raise awareness of the need for more caution when driving through work zones to decrease fatalities and injuries;
- Establish and promote a uniform set of safety tips;
- The value of training and importance of best practices in regard to work zone safety would be promoted among individuals in the private sector, industry, and roadway workers;
- Reach out to both roadway workers and contractors to communicate possible effects of motorists’ behavior in response to traffic delays, and advise on what steps might possibly be taken to lessen negative behavior; and
- Outreach efforts would be made to work with entities involved with work zone safety and to form partnerships.
At Mason Construction, Ltd. we prioritize safety and value these awareness events because it helps us all stay safe. Speed is a major factor in work zone safety and one of the major causes of crashes in a work zone, according to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDot). Here are some tips for safely driving in a work zone:
- Slow down – "always follow posted work zone speed limits.” Traffic fines double when workers are present in a work zone and speeding is one of the main contributors to work zone accidents. Slow down when approaching and driving through a work zone.
- Stay alert – pay attention to workers and equipment in a work zone. They are often within feet of vehicles. Try to minimize distractions while traveling through a work zone so you can be aware of what is going on around your vehicle. Remember, it is illegal to text and drive whether you are in a work zone or not!
- Don’t tailgate – allow extra room between vehicles for unexpected movements. Work zones often cause traffic and quick braking.
- Obey law enforcement and/or work crews – it may be an inconvenience to sit and wait for traffic to clear or move through a single lane road but it is vital to everyone’s safety to obey the crew flaggers. Pay attention and stay patient.
- Plan ahead – if you are traveling an unusual route, look up traffic conditions before you leave. That way you can plan for delays and traffic if construction is in progress. If you are going to be driving through a work zone, leave early to allow extra time.
Work zone safety is important for you as the driver and the workers in the area. Everyone relies on each other to be observant, heed safety signs, and plan for safety. Please slow down, pay attention, and be safe!
One Team. One Vision. One Goal. – Everyone Goes Home Safe!