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Public Works

Work Zone Safety Tips

For the best traveling possible, manage your S's: Speed, Space and Stress.

Manage Your Speed

  • Slow Down when approaching all work zones! When you see a sign that says, “Road Work 1500 Feet,” you will be in the construction zone very quickly! It takes less than a minute more to travel through a two-mile-long work zone at 45 m.p.h. than at 65 m.p.h. — only 40 seconds to be precise.
  • Follow Posted Speed Limits, especially within construction zones, and try to maintain a consistent speed with the traffic flow.
  • Don’t Resume Normal Speed until you see roadway signs indicating it's safe to do so.

Manage Your Space

  • Leave Room! Leave adequate braking room between your vehicle and the one ahead of you. Count out at least two seconds from the time the car ahead of you passes an object and the time your own car passes that object. Also, keep a safe distance between your vehicle and traffic barriers, trucks, construction equipment and workers.
  • Don’t Pass on the Shoulder! Don’t drive across the median! This creates a very dangerous situation for you, construction workers and other motorists — and also comes with a $500 fine!
  • Leave Yourself an Out! When stopped in traffic, leave a safety zone between you and the vehicle in front of you. A good rule of thumb is that when stopped in traffic you should be able to see the bottom of the tires of the vehicle in front of you. Why?
    1. It may allow you to pull around a disabled or stalled vehicle.
    2. It may allow you to pull forward to the left or right shoulder to avoid a rear-end collision.
    3. It significantly reduces your chances of being involved in a chain-reaction collision. 
    4. If involved in a rear-end collision, it significantly reduces the chances of disabling or expensive damage to the front end and engine compartment of your vehicle.
  • Watch Out for Tailgaters! Do not force tailgaters to back off by slamming on your brakes or reducing your speed significantly! This practice can lead to road rage and increases the chances of a collision. When possible, pull over and let them pass. If this is not possible, turn your headlights on and off several times during daylight hours to illuminate your tail lights and warn tailgaters they are too close. If at night, lightly tap your brake pedal to illuminate your brake lights.

Manage Your Stress

  • Keep Your Cool! Calm down and don’t rush. Remember, the temporary inconvenience of a construction zone will pay off with greatly improved roads soon.
  • Learn some simple techniques to keep you calm when you encounter delays in work zones:
    • Practice calm breathing techniques.
    • Try to visualize peaceful and calming scenes.
    • Don't allow impatient or speeding motorists to cause you to alter your own good driving habits!
  • Pay Attention! Avoid cell phone or radio distractions, as well as those of other stopped cars or construction.
  • Expect Delays! Use this Web site and other available information to keep yourself informed about construction on your route. Leave a bit earlier, if necessary, to arrive at your destination on time. Consider using an alternate route that bypasses the construction zones