Caution — Road Work Ahead
During roadway construction, work zones can be dangerous for both construction workers and motorists. In a recent statewide survey, it was found that one out of every six Hawaii residents knows a family member or friend who was almost hit by a vehicle while working in a highway work zone.
Hawaii has more than 150 injuries per year in work zone-related crashes, averaging one fatality each year. The most serious injuries to construction workers are usually from being struck by speeding vehicles.
It is important to remember that speed limits are posted during road construction to keep workers safe in areas coned off according to federal guidelines. These precautions provide workers with maximum protection in a work zone. Even a small miscalculation can result in a collision that can seriously injure or kill a construction worker.
Slow down when you enter a work zone and let work crews do their job. They are working to make the roads better for everyone.
Here are a few tips to help make highway work zones safer:
EXPECT DELAYS — Planning your travel time accordingly can reduce stress that often leads to dangerous aggressive driving behavior and "road rage."
BE AWARE — Check your daily newspaper for current construction locations and detours.
WATCH FOR SIGNS — Signs posted in advance of construction will help you find alternative routes. Also, detours or lane closures may change daily as traffic patterns in work zones are adjusted according to work being conducted and completed.
FOLLOW THE SPEED LIMIT — Speed limits in work zones can differ from normal limits and should be obeyed as workers may be just a few feet away from open lanes of traffic.
BE CONSCIENTIOUS — Always remember that workers may be present even if you don’t see them.
BE EXTRA CAREFUL AT NIGHT — Construction is often performed at night to avoid lane closures during peek traffic hours. However, reduced driver visibility can be a danger to workers. Be extra careful when driving through work zone areas at night.