Accidents around construction zones on the roads have increased by 45 percent in a decade. This is according to statistics obtained by the Federal Highway Administration.
Most of this number is made up by the drivers of vehicles. But 15 percent are pedestrians, cyclists and other road vehicle users.
Much of the problem surrounding accidents is due to drivers’ attitudes to road works. The general view is that maintenance is a nuisance and something to be sped through as quickly as possible.
Because road works are a fact of life and something that motorists encounter all too often, there is a tendency for complacency to set in.
Accidents happen when people are in a hurry, don’t read posted signs and other notices warning them of impending works.
Stay safe on the roads when there are contractors working on them and remember the following points.
When you see cones or road workers in high-vis jackets, it should be code for you to slow down.
Motorists speeding through road works is a prime cause of accidents and fatalities on the roads.
Don’t attempt to push past the traffic, or go at the normal, posted speed, when you can see there are road works ahead. Drive with caution and slow right down when you see those cones!
LOOK FOR CLUES
It is not only cones which should give you a clue about any impending road works. Keep your eyes peeled for other signs that there may be hazards ahead.
These include workers out and about, in orange bibs and the telltale presence of heavy machinery and vehicles: mixers, rollers, trucks, compactors and so forth.
CHECK FOR ISSUES BEFORE YOU SET OFF
The best way to be prepared for any upcoming road works is to know about them in advance. This means consulting the press, local news websites and listening to local radio updates.
Keeping abreast of the latest road closures or delays will stand you in good stead, when it comes to planning your journey.
You will also be less likely to feel pressured and stressed by road works and therefore tempted to drive in a risky manner, if you already know about them.
If your satellite system allows for updates in traffic jams and road closures, make sure you check it. Likewise, keep your phone with you to consult all the latest road news (only, not when you are at the wheel!)
OBEY ALL SIGNAGE
Finally, take proper notice of all signage relating to road works. Do what the notices tell you to do and do not copy other road users if they ignore them!
By respecting the workers on our highways, we can make the roads a safer place for everyone whilst vital maintenance is being carried out. Remember, it is for YOUR benefit!