Safety Tips in Construction Zones

Each year in Wisconsin, both highway workers and motorists are killed and injured in crashes that happen in highway construction zones. Some of the things you can do to avoid these incidents include:

Expect the unexpected: Normal speed limits may be reduced, traffic lanes may be changed, and people and vehicles may be working on or near the road

Keep a safe distance: Leave room between your vehicle and traffic barriers, trucks, construction equipment and workers. Just like you, highway workers want to return home safely.

Stay alert: Don’t be distracted by construction activity, using your cell phone, changing radio stations or by other activities inside or outside your vehicle. Inattention often leads to crashes.

Watch for flaggers If you see a “Flagger Ahead” sign, stay alert and be prepared to obey the flagger’s directions. You can be cited for disobeying a flagger’s directions.

Pay attention to warning signs Just because you don’t see workers immediately after you see warning signs doesn’t mean the workers aren’t there. Use caution until you see the sign that says you’ve left the work zone.

Merge as soon as possible: You may see flashing arrow panels or “lane closed ahead” signs. Don’t zoom right up to the lane closure and then try to cut in. Motorists can help maintain traffic flow and posted speeds by moving to the appropriate lane at the first notice of an approaching work zone.

Don’t speed: A car traveling 60 mph travels 88 feet per second. If you’re going 60 mph and you pass a sign that says “Road Work 1500 Feet,” you will reach the work zone in 17 seconds.

Don’t tailgate: The most common crash in a highway work zone is the rear-end collision, so remember to leave three seconds of braking distance between you and the car in front of you. Allow greater distances as your speed increases.