Spring has arrived here in Denver and as all of us who live here know, spring weather always brings along with it more annoying road construction! It seems that the process of building and rebuilding safe roads also includes having to endure an undetermined length of time driving through and around construction zones. According to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and AAA Colorado, there are more than 150 projects on state and interstate highways in Colorado this year. Since work-zone crashes kill an average of 11 people per week, nationwide, it is so important that we do everything we can to keep our roads safe.
In a recently published article by AAA, they share these tips that they would like drivers to keep in mind when driving through “cone zones”.
- Slow down and move over when road workers and emergency responders are present. It’s a Colorado law and it can save lives.
- Expect the unexpected. The work zone you’ve driven through before may have changed since the last time you visited. Out-of-state drivers won’t be familiar with lane changes, uneven surfaces and lower speeds and may take sudden evasive actions.
- Obey road crew flaggers. Ignoring them, racing past them or expressing anger towards them only endangers them and aggravates other drivers.
- Don’t tailgate even when other motorists cut into the safe space you’ve created behind the car in front. This requires patience on your part.
- Minimize distractions. Focus, focus, focus! Store your phone, make your call later and don’t reach for food or drinks. To put it simply, drop anything and everything that would prevent you from seeing and obeying road signs, steering clear of roadside workers or hearing emergency vehicle sirens.
- Be patient and stay calm. This is by far the most difficult step of all, because who doesn’t want to reach their destination sooner rather than later?
We can all contribute to having safe roads in Denver and Colorado and also have a positive impact on roadside workers and other drivers by simply following a few friendly guidelines. So I guess the question is, ” How will you respond?”