The weather is warming up and spring is starting to take hold. For drivers across the country, that means the road construction season has begun.
Highway construction companies like Manatt’s Inc. of Brooklyn, Iowa started rolling out their equipment last week to begin patching and paving Iowa’s roadways.
According to the Iowa DOT, between March and November there will be about 500 state road projects this year. Add in the county and city projects and there will be thousands of work zones across Iowa. This means extra caution will be needed from drivers to ensure their safety, as well as the safety of construction zone workers whose jobs put them extremely close to heavy traffic.
The Missouri DOT recommends drivers manage the Three “S”s: Speed, Space, and Stress.
Speed: Slow down, follow all posted speed limit signs, and don’t resume speed until you see signs indicating the end of the work zone.
Space: Leave plenty of room between yourself and the car ahead, don’t pass on the shoulder, and always leave yourself an “out”. When stopped, a good practice is to leave enough room so you can see the bottom of the tires in front of you.
Stress: Face it- road construction is a part of life. Getting frustrated can lead to distracted driving and more accidents. Remember, a slight delay now will result in a greatly improved road tomorrow. Also, well-kept road improves safety and driving conditions, and reduces wear on your shiny new car.
Driving Smart Saves Lives
During 2012 there were 6 deaths in Iowa road construction zones, all of them motorists.
While there hasn’t been a worker death in a construction zone since 2010, it still remains an extremely hazardous profession. Since 1992, there have been 19 workers killed in Iowa road construction accidents. Numbers from iowadot.gov
If saving lives isn’t motivation enough, remember: traffic fines are greatly increased in construction zones. Iowa traffic tickets reach as high as $1,000 for a speeding ticket between the orange signs. Is a cool grand really worth arriving a few minutes earlier?
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