Work Zone Questions
Who is at most risk in a road work zone? A driver or a road worker? You may be surprised to learn that, on average, 85 percent of all deaths in work zones are drivers and passengers in cars. You should also know that, during daytime, half of all crashes in active work zones are rear-end crashes. (More Facts and Statistics.)
That is why you are likely to see a chapter about work zones in your driver handbook. That is also why questions about work zones will appear on your written DMV test. Work zone safety cannot be emphasized enough.
Obey Signs and Signals at All Times
While the presence of a construction and maintenance zone on the road may be annoying and delay your trip, it is important to take extra care and obey all signs and signals. They must be obeyed even if you do not see any workers on the road or because you don’t believe there is any ongoing work. Speed limits are set for a number of reasons.
There are several common signs in work zones that you must be able to identify and obey. Do you know them all?
Flashing arrow boards may indicate reduced lanes, a detour, or crossover. Lane markings on the road, traffic cones, barrels or barricades will outline the path you must follow.
You should also know the meaning of this arrow board.
Merge well before you reach any lane closure. You should not zoom right up to the lane closure, then try to force your way in. It may trigger aggressive driving by others.
Be Alert and Pay Attention
At first sight of orange signs or devices on the road, avoid any distractions. You need to be fully alert and concentrated on your driving. It is very likely that traffic will slow down, or even stop, further down the road. Look well ahead of your vehicle and pay attention to signs.
If your cell phone rings, ignore it. This is certainly not the time for a phone call or text message, legal or illegal.
Most work zones have reduced speed. Start slowing down when warning signs alert you of a reduced speed. Remember, speeding in work zones may not only carry increased fines, it also contributes to many accidents.
Highway patrols or local police will often provide active enforcement support in work zones. Their job is to identify and pursue traffic law violators in or around the work zone. They are less likely to be lenient with work zone offenders.
Know the consequences for speeding in a work zone in your state. Be prepared to answer a question like this: Q: If you are caught speeding through a road work zone you will: .
Do not resume normal speed until you see a roadway sign indicating the end of the work zone or the normal speed limit.
As you remember from the beginning of this article, rear-end crashes are the most common type of collision in work zones. Be sure to keep enough distance to any vehicles ahead. Tailgating in work zones is extremely dangerous. The vehicle ahead of you may slow down or stop suddenly because of an obstacle, workers working close to travel lanes, irregular pavement surfaces, lane shifts, pavement edge drop-offs, or narrow lanes.
Watch traffic around you and be prepared to react, be especially aware of brake lights.
If you are being tailgated, your best action is not to speed up but to slow down.
Don’t use cruise control when driving in a work zone.
Use Your Headlights
Low beam headlights make it easier for others to see you. Turn them on, even if it isn’t required by law. At night, you should be prepared to use high beam headlights whenever necessary. High beams help you see further down the road.
Avoid Unnecessary Lane Changes
Stay in your lane. Change lanes only where pavement markings indicate, and only when traffic conditions permit. Solid white lines are used where changing lanes is discouraged and/or prohibited.
Flaggers Must Be Obeyed
At some construction areas, flaggers may be posted to control traffic flow. To stop traffic, a flagger extends a fluorescent orange/red flag in a horizontal position into the line of traffic. He or she may also use a signal paddle with a stop sign. You may proceed at a reduced speed only when directed to do so by the flagger.
Do you know what this flagger signal means?
Correct answer is: Slow.