No matter where you reside these days, the roads traveled frequently require repairs, among other things; widening, fresh painted lines or piping underground, regardless of what type of work is being done… this is called a “construction zone.” Signs are posted in these particular areas, not to mention warning signs (including images) are also posted around 1 to 2 miles before entering these zones. Common road work usually involves lane closures and lane shifting, but one must pay close attention to the signs and images. You can find a map which includes valuable information on your local highways at www.fhwa.dot.gov/trafficinfo.com .
While all construction zones have reduced speeds, I find it appalling at the number of vehicles that pay no attention to these postings. Fines are doubled in these zones; in the event you get pulled over. The most common problems involve rear-end crashes, usually caused by a stopped or slowed vehicle, so paying close attention is extremely important. This means you should “Not” be using a cell phone (my number one complaint) in these areas. The Department of Transportation states that it takes an extra 25 seconds to cover 1 mile at 45 mph compared to the 65mph posting. People need to pay closer attention to the signs and brake lights in front of you, because your reaction time is not enough to most likely prevent you from a crash. Lately, as I drive through these areas, I am in total disbelief at the speeds; I might be going 5 over the limit just to keep up with the flow of traffic… while others ‘literally’ zoom by me in the left lane as if I’m standing still! I cannot imagine what would happen if a construction worker had to step out of his protected area, or even have an accidental fall into oncoming traffic; it’s a nightmare waiting to happen. These people, (workers) have families like you and I, and every year there are more traffic deaths throughout the U.S. than ever before.
A few safety precautions for driving in these construction zones would be as follows; manage your speed, if you have to… set your cruise control to the appropriate speed. Also, leave adequate room between your vehicle and the one in front of you. I know… you don’t like to because there are those idiots which are in a hurry and jump in front of you without using a directional (some refer to it as a blinker), and there is nothing we can do about it, just deal with it the best you can… you might actually be saving a life or two by keeping calm while you drive. One more important tip; maintain your speed until ‘after’ the work zone ended, instead of speeding up because you see the sign ahead. Such simple rules to follow, yet the whole world apparently seem to be in such a hurry… and there are lives at stake each and every day, while we get into our cars and go. Last but not least… allow more time to your destination, including … expecting delays. None of us like to sit on a highway; the constant braking and tailgating is enough to make you bonkers, so listen to your favorite music for some vehicle therapy; that’s what I call it. Its reality and we need to care. I’m not sure, but I think hazard pay would be great for these types of workers; I don’t know if that exists or not, but they are putting their lives at risk everyday on the highway, so be aware and be safe… it will help save lives.
Make your week count.