Roadside Safety

Road Work Safety

A Motorist haphazardly speeds through the barricade, over the edge of the cliff, maneuvers gracefully through the air, and smoothly lands on the road below, in a cartoon reality. However, the dangers of ignoring road construction signs are all too real. Many who’ve ignored these dayglow forewarnings have paid a severe price.

A road construction crew’s habiliments were created for safety. Construction crews don reflective vests for visibility and helmets. Moreover, orange road construction signs are an integral part of a safe work area, they’re not placed along roads to frustrate motorists! We must heed these warnings, for the safety of everyone.

Road hazard signs are essential for the safety of construction crews and motorists. When approaching a construction zone, orange signs are spaced at intervals along the road, these intervals aren’t random – they derive from the distance it takes for a vehicle to stop at a given speed. The faster you’re going, the more distance is required to stop, even with modern anti-lock breaks. It’s imperative that motorists heed these warning, and reduce speed, for the safety of everyone.

Typically, a motorist will encounter 3 warning signs, prior to the Transition Warning. Transition Warnings redirect traffic around the construction zone. Often, this area possesses serpentines in the road’s surface and requires skillful driving. According to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), “temporary traffic control zone includes the entire section of roadway between the first advance warning sign through the last traffic control device, where traffic returns to its normal path and conditions.” Traffic control zones are divided into four areas:

Advance Warning
Transition Area
Activity Area
Termination Area

The spacing of signs differs by the speed at which the road is traveled, for example, Advance Warning signs are placed at 1,000, 1,500 and 2,640 feet prior to the Transition Area along highways, but only 100 feet apart along urban low-speed roads, such as neighborhoods. The last traffic control device, the Termination Area returns traffic to its normal unencumbered flow. You’re again zipping along the highway.

The safety of road construction crews and motorists alike requires drivers heed road construction signs; we don’t live in a cartoon reality.

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