Warm weather doesn’t just mark the start of grilling, swimming, and baseball. It also marks the beginning of America’s road construction season. Every year, thousands of projects are launched to improve our nation’s roads, bridges, drainage systems, and highways, employing millions of workers and helping make our roads safer and more efficient.
While necessary, these road construction zones can be extremely dangerous for truck drivers, passengers, and road workers. According to the National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse, in 2013 alone there were 579 traffic-related deaths in construction zones; 105 construction workers were killed.
When you see the orange signs, you need to be especially careful and attentive.
As a truck driver, you already know the importance of maintaining safe driving habits at all times, but it never hurts to review the basics. Let’s take a look at what you should always remember while driving in road construction.
Safe Trucking: Driving in Road Construction Zones
Strictly Obey the Speed Limit (Or Drive Under the Posted Limit)
When you are driving a large semi truck through a construction zone, the first thing you can do to maintain safety is to always drive at or below the speed limit. You may have to make tight turns or quickly stop for other motorists, construction vehicles, or workers, so keep it slow and keep it safe.
Leave Plenty of Space Between Vehicles
You know the importance of leaving space between you and other drivers, but this goes ten-fold while driving in a construction zone. Due to the stop-and-go nature of driving in a construction zone, rear-end collisions are the most common accident in these areas. You can’t change what drivers are doing behind you, but you can stay safe by leaving even more distance in front.
Focus on the Road, Not the Construction
There is a lot of activity in construction zones. Workers are running around, tools are sawing through concrete, eye-catching construction vehicles are moving from one end to another. There is a lot of activity to grab your attention, so fight your natural curiosity and keep your eyes and mind on the road in front of you.
Stay on the Lookout for Flaggers
Make sure you are always paying attention for any flaggers. During ongoing construction projects, traffic routes and detours can change daily, and it is often easier to post road workers who direct traffic than to install temporary signs. Flaggers have the same authority as signals and signs, so disobeying them is a serious traffic violation.
Breathe, Relax, and Just Drive
There will be tight paths. There will be irresponsible drivers. There will be long waits. And you still have to make your deadline. However, getting frustrated and angry does you absolutely no good. When you are driving through a construction zone, take a deep breath, relax, and just keep trucking safely.
Keep these tips in mind this season and you’ll be able to reduce stress driving over the road and have safer, more rewarding career in the trucking industry.
Excellent Trucking Opportunities from CDLjobs.com
Ready to turn your CDL into a long, rewarding career? Visit CDLjobs.com and check out the many trucking opportunities we have posted today.
You’ll find the perfect position for your specific needs and skill level, all while earning the excellent income you deserve.