Construction season is upon us! Even though work zones can result in delays and frustration, it is important to remember to drive safely through the zone! National Work Zone Awareness Week is April 3-7and this year’s theme is, “Work Zone Safety Is In Your Hands”.
The South Dakota Department of Transportation is asking motorists driving through work zones to slow down, give their full attention to the cars and work going on around them, and to expect the unexpected.Nationwide, four out of every five work zone fatalities are motorists.
Secretary of Transportation Darin Bergquist says, “When motorists drive recklessly through work zones, they are putting the lives of highway workers, themselves, other drivers and passengers at risk.”
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), speed is the number one concern in work zone safety. When traveling at high speeds drivers can arrive at a roadway work zone too fast to stop safely. If speeding is combined with in-vehicle distractions and inattentive or aggressive driving, the potential for a life-changing and potentially fatal crash increases.
The SDDOT encourages motorists to practice the following safety tips when traveling through work zones:
- Don’t Speed – Reduce speed before entering a work zone. If other motorists are speeding, don’t follow the bad example. Remember, fines are double in work zones.
- Stay Alert – Dedicate full attention to the road. Remember, somebody’s loved one is working in that area.
- Pay Attention – Avoid distracting activities like adjusting the radio and talking or texting on a cell phone.
- Expect the Unexpected – Be extra vigilant because the traffic patterns and speeds are different than normal.
- Be Prepared to Stop – Signs and work-zone flaggers save lives.
- Don’t Tailgate – Maintain adequate and safe distances from workers and other vehicles.
- Be Patient –Remember, road crews are working to improve your future ride. Someone’s family is expecting them home at the end of their shift.
To obtain the most recent road construction information in South Dakota, please visit http://www.safetravelusa.com/sd and click on the orange signs or dial 511.