Texas Work Zone Safety Tips and Awareness

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Texas Work Zone Awareness

Despite those big orange signs and large construction equipment, some drivers still fail to pay adequate attention to safety rules while driving through work zones. Work zones are specially dangers, as the workers themselves are out in the open, and do not have the protection of a vehicle. It is of the utmost importance that drivers take responsibility for their behaviors when traveling through a work zone, and adjust their speed and awareness accordingly.

However, work zones can be just as dangerous for motorists as they are for the workers. Large and heavy equipment, unstable or uneven pavement, and hidden or obscured workers all pose a serious threat to drivers’ safety. Throughout the country, there are almost 800 deaths due to work zone traffic accidents each year, and around 100 of those occur in Texas – most of them being motorists, not workers.

Below are some tips to help you remain safe and aware when driving through a work zone. The life you save just may be your own!

Slow Down

The leading cause of traffic accidents in a work zone is excessive speed. With narrower roads and construction barriers, there are far more elements to deal with than a driver is typically used to. Speeding does now allow for a timely correction if a worker steps out in front of your vehicle, or if you encounter a construction barrier that is sitting within your path. And since you don’t have as much room to navigate, you’re far more likely to hit something if you swerve out of the way.

By slowing your speed, you are also better able to observe your surroundings, in case an accident or hazard was to occur. Runaway equipment, falling concrete, or another traffic accident are all real threats, however rare they may seem to be. Slow down and keep your eyes peeled and you’ll be far more capable of handling any situation that falls your way.

Follow the Rules

Those big orange signs are there for a reason! Constructions signs often tell you what kind of road conditions to expect – whether there will be a lane shift, bumpy pavement, no shoulder, rumble strips, or even a merge off the freeway for a certain distance. Signs will also tell you if there is a certain speed limit you need to follow – and these are important! Violating a work zone speed limit can cost you double what the normal fine would be.

Be Patient

Remember – road construction occurs in order to give YOU a better and safer driving environment. Instead of getting impatient about the temporary slow-down, try to focus on how much better the conditions of the road will be once the work is done. And if you simply cannot stand to wait an extra 5 minutes to get where you need to go, plan ahead! Look at the traffic before you leave to see if there are construction delays, and find an alternative route.

Work Zone Awareness Week

Since 2000, the Texas Department of Transportation, along with the Federal Highway Administration, has celebrated Work Zone Awareness Week to bring special attention to the issue of work zone safety. Authorities create brochures aimed at educating drivers about safe driving, and police are especially vigilant about observing and enforcing work zone rules. During this time, make sure to employ your best defensive driving skills to as to prevent yourself from receiving an extremely costly traffic ticket, while ensuring the safety of those workers who are toiling hard to provide you with a better place to drive.

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