Did you know that summer is construction season? It’s only May now, but with summer right around the corner, you’ll likely start seeing many more of those orange cones and vests soon. As a fleet driver, you probably don’t see this as happy news. Construction is frustrating. It causes delays and safety hazards, and navigating work areas can be tense. We’ve gathered some tips to help you get through this summer more safely.
Work Zone Statistics
In 2021, it’s estimated that there were over 105,000 crashes in work zones. These crashes resulted in 42,000 injuries and 954 deaths. These numbers show a rise in crashes and fatalities over the past years. The USDOT estimated a record increase in fatalities nationwide during the first quarter of 2022.
Highway maintenance is a dangerous job. These workers die 3.7 times more often than the average American worker and 19 times more often than engineering and office workers. People employed to work in tunnel, culvert, and bridge repair are in particular danger. But they’re not the only ones in danger. Motorists are also affected when these crashes occur. To keep everyone safe, reducing traffic accidents in work zones is essential.
These statistics were obtained from sources compiled by Work Zone Barriers.
Tips for Navigating Road Work Zones
We have compiled seven tips that should be front of mind this summer as you see more orange cones on the road.
- Distance: Keeping your distance is key at any time, but be particularly careful when you’re in a work zone. Always be prepared to slow down or stop unexpectedly. What if something falls into your path or that of the car in front of you? Always be ready for anything.
- Merge Properly: Lane changes and merging can complicate traffic patterns in work zones. Often, people try to wait until the last minute, thinking they’re getting ahead. However, this is not only unsafe, but it causes traffic to go slower as people have to stop to let the person in. When you see that you’ll need to merge, do so as soon as possible. Check your blind spots, as people often don’t want to let others over in these situations.
- Look out for Workers: Construction zones always mean there will be a lot going on. Keep your eye out for workers close to the traffic flow, and give them plenty of space. Make sure you have your full attention on the situation at all times.
- Signs: You’ll always see signs at construction zones. It’s essential to pay attention to them. These signs will tell you about the changes ahead and how to navigate them.
- Adjust Speed: Recommended work-zone speed limit signs are there for a reason. You must be ready to slow down or stop at any time. Stick to the posted speed limit. Tickets are frequently higher for those who don’t.
- Signal to Others: If you’re in a fleet truck, you’re up higher than many other vehicles. This vantage point allows you to signal to other drivers that there’s a change up ahead. You can also turn on your flashers to signal traffic behind you to slow down.
- Patience: If you’re driving through a work zone, a route you travel will soon be improving. It is frustrating now, but it likely means that your life will be easier in the future. Try to think positively, even amid your frustration.
Azuga Helps Your Fleet Stay Safe
We work with fleets day in and day out. We know that construction zones are a pain. That’s why we help you avoid them as much as possible with Azuga Routes. Our route planning software helps you get to your destination in the most efficient way possible. This means avoiding delays like construction zones. If you want to maximize your fleet’s efficiency in more ways than one, reach out to one of our experts today and see how we can partner up to accomplish your fleet’s goals.