Work Zone Safety: Drive Like You Work Here
By Office of Communication
Posted on April 08, 2019, April 08, 2019

Construction Barrel in Roadway

Detours and barricades and orange cones, oh my! Anyone who has driven through Arlington recently has no doubt encountered a construction work zone. The Public Works and Transportation and Water Utilities departments are working diligently to make necessary improvements to the City’s transportation and water infrastructure. However, with this progress comes construction work zones. While these work zones may be an inconvenience, they play a vital role in transforming The American Dream City.

Each spring at the start of construction season, the Federal Highway Administration, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, and the American Traffic Safety Services Association, coordinates and sponsors the National Work Zone Safety campaign with the goal of educating drivers on how to save lives by avoiding preventable crashes in work zones. The theme for this year’s campaign, which will take place April 8-12, is Drive Like You Work Here.

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, in 2017 there were more than 27,000 crashes in Texas work zones, resulting in 202 fatalities and 4,716 injuries. Within the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant counties had a combined 43 fatalities as the result of work zone area crashes.

Work zone safety awareness is critical, for both the men and women working on our roadways and drivers passing through the work zones. The tips below are important reminders to help ensure that you and construction crews get home safely each night:

  • Plan Ahead: Check the City’s website and social media, mobile traffic apps, and the radio for the latest traffic information. Leave a few minutes earlier than normal so you can reach your destination on time.
  • Be Patient: Pack your patience for any trip through a work zone and remember that any delay caused by the construction is temporary, even if it feels like it’s permanent.
  • Avoid Distractions: Distracted driving in a work zone can have deadly consequences. Put your phone down and keep your eyes on the road.
  • Expect the Unexpected: The area you drove through yesterday may look different today. Normal speeds may be reduced, traffic lanes may be shifted, and people and vehicles may be working on or near the roadway.
  • Pay Attention to Warning Signs: Pay attention to the information on the diamond-shaped orange warning signs that are posted in advance of work zones.
  • Use the “Take 10” Technique to Change Lanes: A flashing arrow panel or “lane closed ahead” sign means you need to merge as soon as safely possible. Don’t drive all the way up to the lane closure and then cut in. Signal your intent to change lanes for at least three seconds, check your mirrors to ensure it’s safe to change lanes, and use approximately seven seconds to complete the maneuver.
  • Obey the Road Crews: A flagger is responsible for controlling traffic in a construction zone and has the same authority as a regulatory sign. Drivers can be cited for failure to obey the flagger’s directions.
  • Don’t Speed or Tailgate: Keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you and don’t speed. Tailgating and speeding lead to crashes with other vehicles and field workers.
  • Look Out for Workers and Equipment: Keep a safe distance between your vehicle and traffic barriers, construction workers, and construction equipment. 
  • Obey Posted Signs Until You See One That Says You’ve Left the Work Zone: Some work zones are mobile, moving down the roadway as work progresses. Just because workers aren’t immediately visible after a work zone warning sign, doesn’t mean they aren’t out there.
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