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.
- Lane Merging: A dynamic late merge (Zipper Merge) allows drivers to utilize all lanes of traffic until the merge area is reached. At this point, motorists should merge in an alternating fashion, like a zipper. When you see a Lane Closed Ahead sign, continue to drive in your lane until you are prompted to considerately merge.
- 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.
- Stay in touch: Check this Web site for current construction news, or get the information you need from radio, TV or newspapers. It may be easier to avoid work zones entirely by taking an alternate route.