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You’ve seen INDOT’s orange barrels and work zones, and probably seen our highway workers, too. They’re out on the road every day mowing medians, repairing pot holes and building new roads and bridges to make Indiana roadways safer for you and your family.
We know highway work zones can be frustrating. We realize life is busy and time is precious. But please understand when you drive dangerously through a highway work zone you’re not just putting the lives of highway workers at risk – you’re risking your own life, and the lives of your passengers. That’s because four out of five people who die in highway work zones are either vehicle drivers or passengers. In 2013, 13 people were killed and more than 300 injured in INDOT work zones. Most work zone crashes are caused by: Following too closely; unsafe lane movement; failure to yield right-of-way; ran off roadway; ran over object in roadway; improper lane change; driver inattention; and speeding too fast.
To ensure your safety and that of its workers, INDOT employees and contractors work nighttime and off-peak hours, install concrete barrier walls on interstate construction projects, communicate construction information to travelers and the media, use electronic message/arrow boards, wear high visibility safety apparel and protective equipment, and use extra police patrols in highway work zones. INDOT even created a work zone awareness video to draw attention to work zone safety.
While driving through a work zone make sure to stay alert and pay attention; speed limits are reduced, lanes may narrow, and workers may be present. Slow down and safely merge as soon as you see the signs; this will allow traffic to flow smoothly. Keep a safe distance on all sides of your vehicles. Minimize distractions and expect construction delays. Allow extra travel time, and if necessary select an alternate route to reach your destination safely.
Work Zone Safety is everyone’s responsibility. Please use caution and common sense when driving through highway work zones.
Jeff J. Franciski, PE, PLS
Work Zone Safety Engineer
Traffic Management Center
8620 E. 21st Street
Indianapolis, IN 46219