Sa­fe­ty first at ro­ad con­structi­on de­lays

George Herald - Auto Dealer - - News -

It’s been 45 mi­nu­tes, and you’re la­te for a meet­ing - ti­me to skip the li­ne and get mo­ving. Ro­ad works are such a pain...

T­his li­ne of thoug­ht ends in thou­sands of de­at­hs e­ach y­e­ar.

W­hat we as mo­to­ris­ts ta­ke for gran­ted, is that con­structi­on wor­kers and tho­se that flag us do­wn are hard at work to pro­vi­de us with sa­fe, well-main­tai­ned ro­ads and bet­ter in­fra­struc­tu­re.

Con­structi­on zo­nes and ro­ad­works are dan­ge­rous for wor­kers and mo­to­ris­ts a­li­ke. Ac­cor­ding to Ar­ri­ve A­li­ve, thou­sands of pe­op­le die e­ach y­e­ar as a re­sult of ac­ci­dents that hap­pen pas­sing through ro­ad main­te­nan­ce or con­structi­on zo­nes.

T­he­re’s been a sig­ni­fi­cant in­cre­a­se in ro­ad­works a­round the coun­try, as the South A­fri­can go­vern­ment pus­hes to im­pro­ve our in­fra­struc­tu­re. T­his me­ans that mo­to­ris­ts need to be ca­re­ful to pre­vent the num­ber of in­ju­ries and fa­ta­li­ties cree­ping e­ven hig­her.

Ar­ri­ve A­li­ve i­den­ti­fied the fol­lo­wing main cau­ses of in­ju­ries and de­at­hs at con­structi­on zo­nes:

Im­pa­tient dri­vers speeding or trying to for­ce their way in­to con­ver­ging la­nes at the very last mi­nu­te. T­his is the num­ber one cau­se of in­ju­ries or de­ath to ro­ad wor­kers.

Dri­vers that are dis­trac­ted by tex­ting, cel­lp­ho­ne calls or pas­sen­gers. T­hey of­ten don’t see that la­nes are con­ver­ging or t­hey don’t mer­ge sa­fely.

Dri­vers who don’t o­bey the signs or flags in­di­ca­ting that t­hey need to slow do­wn or stop.

Bad lig­hting or vi­si­bi­li­ty, cau­sing dri­vers to miss signs war­ning of ro­ad­works a­he­ad.

As a ru­le of thumb, mo­to­ris­ts should al­ways ex­pect the u­nex­pected. D­ri­ving through ro­ad­works, you could en­coun­ter a ran­ge of u­nex­pected con­di­ti­ons, from new traf­fic pat­terns to nar­row la­nes, wor­kers in the ro­ad, la­ne clo­su­res, de­tours, slow-mo­ving e­quip­ment and con­cre­te bar­riers.

It is im­por­tant to stay a­lert and li­mit dis­tracti­ons whi­le pas­sing through ro­ad­works.

Ar­ri­ve A­li­ve sug­ge­sts that mo­to­ris­ts ta­ke the­se ad­di­ti­o­nal pre­cau­ti­ons to dri­ve sa­fely through a con­structi­on zo­ne:

Le­a­ve e­ar­ly. If you know that you’ll en­coun­ter a con­structi­on zo­ne en rou­te, either plan to ta­ke a dif­fe­rent ro­ad or, if the ro­ad works can’t be a­voi­ded, le­a­ve ho­me with e­nough ti­me to ca­ter for de­lays.

Slow do­wn! Exe­r­ci­se cau­ti­on w­hen ap­pro­a­ching ro­ad­works or a con­structi­on zo­ne.

Pay at­ten­ti­on to y­el­low cau­ti­on signs. T­hey’re t­he­re for your sa­fe­ty, so ta­ke heed of any war­ning signs you see w­hen en­te­ring a con­structi­on zo­ne. Ar­ri­ve A­li­ve wri­tes, “Ob­ser­ve the­se pos­ted signs until you see the one that says you’ve left the work zo­ne”.

Turn on your lig­hts. If you’re d­ri­ving in poor lig­ht (or if t­he­re’s mist or rain), you need to ma­ke su­re your car is as vi­si­ble as pos­si­ble.

A­void ab­rupt d­ri­ving ma­noeu­vres. Keep your pa­ce slow and ste­a­dy, and try to a­void ha­ving to slam on bre­aks.

Main­tain a sa­fe fol­lo­wing dis­tan­ce. Re­ar-end fen­der ben­ders are one of the most com­mon ac­ci­dents a­round ro­ad works. Ar­ri­ve A­li­ve warns, “Al­ways be a­wa­re that vehi­cles a­he­ad of you may stop u­nex­pected­ly.”

Fol­low the tem­po­ra­ry ro­ad sign in­structi­ons. T­hey’re not t­he­re to look pret­ty! “Dri­vers should slow to the pos­ted speed and mo­ve to the pro­per la­ne as in­structed,” wri­tes Ar­ri­ve A­li­ve. “Traf­fic and ro­ad con­di­ti­ons may dic­ta­te an e­ven slo­wer speed.”

Keep up with the traf­fic flow. Ga­w­king and “rub­ber­necking” cau­ses de­lays and ac­ci­dents. Ar­ri­ve A­li­ve ad­vi­ses that mo­to­ris­ts can help main­tain traf­fic flow and pos­ted speeds by mer­ging smoothly.

O­bey ro­ad crew flag­gers! “The flag­ger knows w­hat is be­st for mo­ving traf­fic sa­fely in the work zo­ne,” warns Ar­ri­ve A­li­ve. “A flag­ger has the sa­me aut­ho­ri­ty as a re­gu­la­to­ry sign, so you can be ci­ted for diso­beying his or her di­recti­ons.”

Don’t wait until the last mi­nu­te to join the cor­rect la­ne. In­di­ca­te with e­nough ti­me to sa­fely en­ter the cor­rect la­ne. Ar­ri­ve A­li­ve sta­tes, “Nar­row la­nes and re­stricted shoul­ders ma­ke con­structi­on zo­nes a com­mon pla­ce for la­ne-chan­ge ac­ci­dents.”

Tem­po­ra­ry la­nes and shoul­ders a­ren’t as sta­ble as re­gu­lar traf­fic la­nes, and of­ten cau­se con­fu­si­on and con­ge­s­ti­on.

Be on the a­lert for ag­gres­si­ve dri­vers. It’s much bet­ter to gi­ve way to an ag­gres­si­ve mo­to­rist than to try and hold your pla­ce in the queue, on­ly to cau­se an ac­ci­dent. “If a­not­her mo­to­rist is ag­gres­si­ve­ly joc­keying for po­si­ti­on, dri­vers should let them mo­ve on,” warns Ar­ri­ve A­li­ve. “C­hal­len­ging a­not­her dri­ver en­coura­ges ro­ad ra­ge and en­dan­gers the sa­fe­ty of ot­her mo­to­ris­ts and wor­kers in the a­rea.”

Wa­tch out for con­structi­on e­quip­ment and wor­kers. Wor­kers and e­quip­ment are in­e­vi­ta­ble, un­pre­dic­ta­ble ob­sta­cles at a con­structi­on si­te. Be a­lert, and keep your ey­es and e­ars pee­led for con­structi­on vehi­cles, e­quip­ment or wor­kers who need to pass by.

Wa­tch out for de­bris. Con­structi­on e­quip­ment li­ke co­nes, bar­riers or signs could be very c­lo­se to (or e­ven in) the ro­ad­way. Ar­ri­ve A­li­ve wri­tes, “De­bris from work pro­jects, es­pe­ci­al­ly dust, dirt, and gra­vel, may cau­se ad­ded dis­rup­ti­on.”

Be pa­tient, cau­ti­ous, and cour­te­ous. De­spi­te the de­lays, you need to re­main calm and tre­at wor­kers and ot­her mo­to­ris­ts re­spect­ful­ly. You’re all in the sa­me bo­at. “Re­mem­ber, the work zo­ne crew mem­bers are wor­king to im­pro­ve the ro­ad and ma­ke your fu­tu­re dri­ve bet­ter,” wri­tes Ar­ri­ve A­li­ve.

Stay sa­fe on the ro­ad by keeping your car well main­tai­ned and run­ning smoothly.

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