We want to get out and explore this great country. Open roads, fresh air, and time to recharge are top on everyone’s mind. So, we do a quick check-up for the RV (don’t forget to check those tires!), pack the trailer, load the kids, and take off! Nothing can get in the way of our desire to hurry up and relax.
But wait… In order to have good roads for trips like these, we need regular road maintenance and repair. Road construction and repair crews do a great job keeping local roads and highways in good repair and running smoothly. We need to be thankful for these men and women who help keep our roads in good condition, so that we can enjoy our travels.
When you encounter road construction on your trips, remember to consider worker’s personal safety before your inconvenience. Try not to view construction zones as delays in your driving schedule, rather view them as opportunities to be thankful for the workers and the job they do for us. Do your part to protect them so that they can do their job and go home safely to their families at the end of the day. This is not a time to try to get ahead or cut corners. Instead, slow your speed, obey all signs and road crews, and eliminate distractions in work zones.
Prepare for major construction zones in your travels by consulting online maps, travel apps, and GPS systems to locate road construction zones along your route. Explore the various features in the system you use. Additionally, the Federal Highway Administration offers a state by state list of road conditions links.
Safety Tips for Driving in Work Zones (from the Federal Highway Administration):
- Plan ahead. Work zones account for an estimated 10 percent of overall congestion and nearly 24 percent of unexpected freeway delays. Expect delays, plan for them, and leave early to reach your destination on time. When you can, avoid work zones altogether by using alternate routes.
- Obey road crews and signs. When approaching a work zone, watch for cones, barrels, signs, large vehicles, or workers in bright-colored vests to warn you and direct you where to go.
- Slow down. Look for signs indicating the speed limit through the work zone. Keep a safe distance from the vehicle ahead of you and follow the posted speed limit. Speed was a factor in almost 30% of all fatal work zone crashes in 2017.
- Move over. Most state move-over laws apply when passing work crews and official vehicles parked on the shoulder with flashing warning lights.
- Avoid distractions. Keep your eyes on the road and off your phone.
- Watch for sudden stoppages. In 2017, 25 percent of fatal work zone crashes involved rear-end collisions.
- Watch for large vehicles. Don’t make sudden lane changes in front of trucks that are trying to slow down. In 2017, 50 percent of fatal work zone crashes involving large trucks or buses occurred on rural roadways. Between 2013 and 2017, fatal work zone crashes involving large trucks increased by 43 percent.
Whenever you pass through a work zone (whether or not you see workers present) always…
- Drive Slowly
- Stay Alert
- Leave Extra Space
RVing... Enjoy it safely! | RVSafety.com
Additional Resources for further study:
Watch for Us (produced by National Asphalt Pavers Association)
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration information on safe driving in work zones
Fatal and Crash statistics for work zones from 2007 – 2017 (nationwide and by state)