Combating Distracted Driving in Work Zones

Driving a familiar road, it’s easy for distractions to creep in. When a construction zone is fast approaching, there are lives on the line, not just orange cones to avoid. One in four accidents are caused by distracted driving, so construction crews use several methods to get drivers’ attention back on the road where it belongs.

Rumble Strips

Many work zones require cars to slow down as they pass through. Drivers might encounter lane closures, trucks entering or exiting the roadway, or rough road surfaces. A distracted driver may miss a sign or fail to see brake lights ahead, but temporary rumble strips are nearly impossible to ignore. Not only do rumble strips cause a loud sound, they create a heavy vibration, too. They actually rumble, and their use is very effective at snapping attention back to the road.

Flag Crews

Flaggers help by increasing visibility while controlling the flow of traffic and tempering the speed at which cars pass through. A traditional flagger communicates via radio or hand signals. When lanes are closed, they allow traffic to flow without risk of collision. Automated flaggers are also an option, and they operate just like a traffic light.

Signs and Markers

A variety of signs and road markers are also available to announce work zones, display speed limit changes, mark lane closures, and divert traffic. From familiar orange cones to high-tech programmable lighted message boards, drivers should be able to clearly see what the hazards are. Placing more than one sign and varying the style of notification helps get the attention of oncoming drivers even when they are not alert to the risk of construction zones.

With distracted driving on the rise, construction crews should use variable methods to keep drivers focused and workers safe. Signs they can see and those they can feel combine for the safest experience in the cone zone.