Friday, August 26, 2016

Slow down, you move too fast…

Yesterday I was on location for a great video/photo shoot project. The location was about an hour’s drive away from my usual starting point so it gave me plenty of time for observations. And anyone who reads this blog knows how I love to make observations. Here goes.

Aside from the massive volume of traffic, the thing I observed most were the dreaded orange barrels; you know, the ones that seem to pop up everywhere at this time of year and basically send you the signal that – unless you planned for them – you won’t make it to your destination on time. It’s funny how the sight of an orange barrel on the highway can immediately conjure up so many different emotions. Like the “Now, I’ll never make it on time” fear, the “Do they really have to do this in the middle of the day?” anger or the “Should have filled the tank before I left this morning” anxiety.

Here’s something else I observed – driving in a construction zone can be hazardous for both drivers and construction workers. Lanes are narrower; traffic patterns are different, people change lanes haphazardly and for most slowing down just doesn’t seem to be an option. The increase of activity on the highway can also lead to distractions. The statistics show that both injuries from construction zone accidents and the number of fatalities continues to increase.
Here are some important tips for increasing safety in highway construction zones.

·         SLOW DOWN – slow down to the posted speed limits. And then be prepared to slow down even more. According to the Federal Highway Administration – for a motor vehicle traveling at 50 mph – the stopping distance is 300 feet on a dry highway; 400 feet on a wet highway; and 1250 feet on icy pavement. That brings up the next tip.

·         DON’T TAILGATE – maintain at least a four second following distance in case of sudden stops.

·         EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED – be alert. Watch for workers entering lanes, other motorists suddenly changing lanes or the person in front of you suddenly hitting the brakes
.
·         ELIMINATE DISTRACTIONS – don’t fool with the radio or your cell phone or try to grab something from the back seat. Pay attention. Follow instructions.

·         BE PATIENT – as much of an inconvenience that they may be, these work zones are necessary for properly maintaining our highways and keeping them safe.

It takes only 25 seconds more to cover one mile at 45 mph than it does at 65 mph. Slow down and be safe.

Posted by MJ Thomas


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