April is Work Zone Awareness Month and the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) is reminding drivers to be extra careful when driving through a work zone.
MDOT has teamed up with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), American Association of State Highway and Trasportation Officials (AASHTO), American Traffic Safety Service Association (ATSSA) and STate DOT’s to offer some tips to drivers traveling through these areas.
“Work zone safety not only includes the safety of workers, it includes the safety of drivers,” said MDOT Executive Director Melinda McGrath. “Many people do not realize the alarming number of fatalities among drivers within work zones. Nationwide, the majority of work zone related fatalities and their passengers. The safety of the traveling public as well as the safety of our workers is a top priority for MDOT.”
Distracted driving is the most common factor in work zone related crashes. That includes texting and driving, eating and drinking,
“By following advanced warning signs, driving the posted speed limit and limiting distractions, drivers can ensure that everyone makes it home to their family at the end of the day,” McGrath said.
Here are are few tips MDOT suggests while traveling through a work zone:
- Stay alert! Look for reduced speed limits, narrow driving lanes and highway workers.
- Pay attention. Work zone signs will tell you exactly what to expect ahead.
- Merge early. If drivers merge as soon as they see the signs, traffic will flow more smoothly.
- Slow down. If you’re speeding, you may encounter slowed or stopped traffic within seconds.
- Don’t tailgate. Maintain a safe distance on all sides of your vehicle.
- Plan ahead. Expect delays and allow extra travel time. Select an alternate route if you are running late.
- Slow down when approaching a work zone at night. Visibility can be difficult due to the glare of oncoming headlights. Slowing down and proceeding with caution will allow for everyone to stay safe.
For more information visit GoMDOT.com/drivesmartms.