National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW) is an annual spring campaign held at the start of construction season to encourage safe driving through highway work zones. The key message is for drivers to use extra caution in work zones.
Here are several safe driving tips you can share with your drivers to help ensure that they are safe and accident-free as we enter a new season of road construction.
Tips to Reduce Your Chance of a Work Zone Accident
- Slow down when you see orange. We all know that speed directly correlates to our reaction time, braking distance and stopping distance.
- Eliminate distractions. Minnesota’s new law will require all drivers to be hands-free starting August 1, 2019. The new law also means manually punching in a phone number or an address into a navigation app are not OK, as well as scrolling through a list of contacts or text messages.
- Decrease your speed and merge into the correct lane well ahead of any lane closures. Be prepared for other vehicles to stop or slow down unexpectedly.
- Merge like a Pro. Use the "zipper merge.” That means that every car in the lane that's ending drives all the way up to the front of the line and takes turns merging with the other lane of traffic. Because the system uses all the available road space for as long as possible. The zipper merge reduces congestion, and It also reduces crashes because all the traffic is moving at the same rate of speed rather than some cars going very fast while others poke along.
- Expect to stop when you see a FLAGGER AHEAD sign
- Leave enough space between you and the motorist in front of you. A two second following distance gives you time to react to the vehicle ahead of you.
- Watch for construction equipment traffic and workers going into or out of the work zone, and be careful not to follow heavy equipment into the construction area.
- Use alternative routes to avoid work zones whenever feasible. A great way to plan ahead is to use Minnesota’s 511 App which shows real-time road construction activities - https://www.511mn.org/?utm_source=travelerinfo511link
Let’s Give’em a Brake
An overwhelming majority of people injured or killed in work zone collisions are drivers and passengers, but let’s also remember the construction workers. Think about the idea that you’re driving through their workplace. Let’s Give’em a brake for our safety and theirs.
Speaking of Construction
Did you know that damage to your vehicle from potholes might be repaired by the State, County, or City where the incident occurred? Check out this website for more information: http://www.dot.state.mn.us/information/potholes/reporting.html