There are only two seasons in the Midwest – winter and road construction. There will be plenty of roadway repair projects this fall, so here’s what you need to know to safely reach your destination when road repairs and construction are taking place.
Limit Distractions. It is important to note that you need to be very focused at all times while driving. Your full attention is required for these kinds of roadway conditions since moving equipment, workers, and sudden stops are common. Avoid such things as changing radio stations or talking on the phone, even if it is on a hands-free device.
Warning Signs. Work zone signs are orange with black lettering or symbols that alert you of any traffic changes that lay ahead. A diamond or rectangular shaped sign can communicate a variety of things. It tells the driver if they need to move, how far away they are from construction, or gives the altered speed limit when passing through the work zone. Be prepared for adverse driving conditions as soon as you identify any of these signs.
Flaggers. When entering a highway construction or maintenance area, scan for workers in bright colored vests. Pay close attention to any worker that is directing traffic and follow their directions. Just because you do not see workers after passing a warning sign, that does not mean they are not out there on the road.
Barriers. Traffic patterns can change daily in work zones, primarily consisting of alternating lane closures. Drums and cones are used to guide traffic and help keep drivers and workers out of harm’s way. Larger barriers are used to prevent vehicles from entering closed roads or other areas where it may be dangerous to drive.
Reduced Speeds. Reduced speed limit signs legally change the posted speed limit on the work zone portion of the highway. By decreasing speed limits, safety increases for roadway workers and drivers – this is why fines are often doubled for speeding violations in construction zones. So, make sure to check your speed, slow down and continue at the reduced speed until you see a sign indicating the end of roadwork.