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Photo of Senator Paul Doyle.

STATE SENATOR

Paul Doyle

National Work Zone Awareness Week is April 3-7

Work zones can present unfamiliar situations to all roadway users. Hazards presented to our traveling public include changes in traffic patterns, closed or narrowed travel lanes, closed sidewalks, and the presence of construction equipment and personnel.

Work Zone Safety is In Your Hands

In Connecticut, from January 1, 2015 through January 7, 2017, there were:

  • 9 fatalities in work zones
  • 2,059 crashes identified as being in a work zone
  • Thursday is when the highest percentage of crashes occur
  • 27 crashes identified as involving a collision with a pedestrian, including workers and support personnel
  • 69 crashes identified as involving a collision with work zone maintenance equipment
  • 67 crashes identified as involving a collision with a parked motor vehicle
     

As drivers, passengers, cyclists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians, we are all responsible for keeping work zones safe. Here are 10 tips for safe driving in work zones:

  1. Expect the Unexpected. Things may change overnight on the routes you travel every day. Normal speed limits may be reduced; traffic lanes and sidewalks may be closed, narrowed, or shifted; and people may be working on or near the road.
  2. Stay Alert. Dedicate your full attention to the roadway and avoid distraction while approaching and driving/walking/biking in a work zone.
  3. Keep a Safe Distance between you and the car ahead of you. Rear-end collisions account for 30 percent of work zone crashes.
  4. Obey Speed Limit. Speeding is one of the major causes of work zone crashes.
  5. Keep Up with the Traffic Flow. Don't slow down to look at road work.
  6. Obey Road Crew Flaggers and Pay Attention to the Signs. The flagger knows what is best for moving all road users safely through the work zone. The construction signs are there to help everyone move safely through the work zone.
  7. Know Before You Go. Check radio, TV, and websites for traffic information; and schedule enough time so you can reach your destination on time and safely.
  8. Be Patient and Stay Calm. Work zones are not there to personally inconvenience you. Remember, the crew members are working to improve the transportation system.
  9. Wear Your Seatbelt. It is your best defense in a crash.
  10. Slow down when the signs say to. A car traveling 60 m.p.h. travels 88 feet per second. If you're going 60 m.p.h., and you pass a sign that states, "Road Work 1,500 feet," you'll be in that work zone in 17 seconds.