Road construction is necessary to maintain and improve the country’s transport infrastructure. However, this work can be disruptive and dangerous for drivers by increasing the number of obstacles they must consider simultaneously.
It’s why driver safety is of the utmost importance in road construction. Roadworks management agencies implement several traffic control plans to protect motorists and construction workers. These tools and strategies aim to enhance awareness, avoid accidents and prepare drivers using the highway to take the necessary precautions to make it through carefully.
Here’s how to keep motorists safe during road construction:
Use Traffic Control Sensors
Thanks to modern technology, it’s never been easier to implement safety measures on busy construction roads. It includes trailers, devices, and software equipped with sensors that can be placed at different points along the whole stretch of highway occupied by road construction.
Doing this creates a smart work zone where motorists’ data can be collected in real-time and utilized to enhance their safety. The radar devices can detect vehicle speed, provide traffic condition information and thus allow drivers and construction workers to make more informed decisions and responses to changing roadworks situations.
Barricade The Construction Area
Erecting physical barriers between open lanes and construction roadworks is a tried and tested method to keep motorists and workers safe and separate from each other. They can be used to cordon off unsafe areas of the road that still need fixing, such as potholes and ditches, or to create a pathway to redirect traffic around construction areas.
Furthermore, if the road is undergoing extensive repairs and needs closing, yellow barriers can be lined up to block off the road. The most cost-effective tools are traffic cones, barrels, and orange nets that are lightweight and easy to set up. The more noticeable the barriers and farther the distance between drivers and workers, the higher the safety levels will be.
Install Rumble Strips
Since there’s no way to avoid backed-up traffic during road construction, one of the best ways to manage this is by putting up rumble strips. These raised pavement strips work similarly to a speed hump by alerting motorists to slow down when they drive over them.
It could be due to slowing traffic, construction vehicle using the passage, or other potential hazards that need them to break and stop quickly and unexpectedly. In turn, slowed-down cars are easier for construction workers on the ground and operating large vehicles to see and direct in real-time. They can be laid out across the roadway during periods of peak traffic congestion when there’s a high risk for motor vehicle collisions.
Put Up Signage
Signs are a simple yet effective way to keep construction workers and motorists safe. They’re easily noticeable and can display messages and warnings to a broad area of road and traffic. Fortunately, there are plenty of signs, such as warning message boards along highways for long-range communication to flashing beacons, arrow boards, and pavement markings to make drivers aware of roadworks and redirect their route if necessary.
While signs can be used in most circumstances, they should be used with other hazard management procedures during specific events such as poor weather conditions. Doing this can help motorists and workers see each other and the signs during poor visibility and improve driver alertness.
Appoint A Flagging Officer
At times, motorists can be inattentive to the road management objects listed above because they’re focused on driving or misjudging the distance between other cars and barriers, for instance. In this case, having a flagging officer for both directions could help streamline traffic flow and prevent motorists from hitting other vehicles and tools.
It’s because a person in motion and waving a flag can catch the attention of motorists easier and alert them to pay attention. Flagging officers should wear reflective vests and other highly-visible clothing, especially during evenings and peak traffic hours. It also removes some drivers’ uncertainty when following signs and message boards that they might not understand immediately.
Keeping motorists safe during road construction consist of using smart work zone sensors to gather information on the entire roadworks area and use it to guide them. To further enhance safety measures, barricades, rumble strips, and signs can be placed along highways to create a visible construction site and warn motorists of roadworks ahead.
Finally, flaggers using a moving object to draw attention to themselves can provide clear directions for drivers who are distracted or unsure of what to do. All these precautions are easy-to-implement and effective methods to keep motorists cautious and safe during their journey through a construction road.