urges caution when driving in work zones
The Idaho Transportation Department’s highest priority
is safety. As you travel throughout Idaho this spring and summer, you
may encounter a number of highway construction projects. They are designed
to improve travel conditions and help you arrive at your destination
construction zones are among the most hazardous places for workers in
the United States and can be equally dangerous for motorists. Nationwide,
work zone crashes involving motorists have increased in recent years.
Work Zone Awareness Week, observed nationally every spring as highway
construction activities resume in earnest, is designed to bring attention
to the need for motorists to slow down and drive carefully in highway
ITD offers the following guidelines to help you prepare
for a season of safe travel through our work zones:
Expect the unexpected. Normal speed
limits may be reduced, traffic lanes may be changed, and people may
be working on or near the road.
Slow down. Speeding is one of the
major causes of work zone crashes.
Keep a safe distance between you and the car
ahead of you. The most common crash in a highway work zone
is the rear end collision. Leave at least two car lengths between
you and the car in front of you and don't tailgate.
Keep a safe distance between your vehicle
and the construction workers and their equipment. Highway
construction crews working on or near the roadway can be especially
vulnerable, since their attention is focused on their task rather
than on passing traffic.
Pay attention to signs and follow flagger
directions. The flagger helps traffic move safely through
the work zone. Warning signs help you and other drivers move safely
through the work zone.
Stay alert and minimize distractions.
Dedicate your full attention to the roadway and avoid changing radio
stations or using cell phones while driving in a work zone.
Help maintain a safe traffic flow.
Motorists can help maintain traffic flow and posted speeds by merging
as soon as possible. Don't drive right up to the lane closure and
then try barge in.
Be patient and stay calm. Work zones
aren't there to personally inconvenience you. Remember, crew members
are working to improve the road and make your future drive better.
Plan ahead. Leave early and allow
enough time to get to your destination. For information about the
state highway and interstate system, and construction activities that
will impact traffic, call the Idaho Road Report, 1-888-IDA-ROAD (432-7623),
or visit the transportation department’s Web site at www.itd.idaho.gov
and click on “Traveler Services”.
Be careful. Just like you, highway
construction workers want to return home safely tonight.