When people think of the signs of summer, they often think about late night sunsets, colorful flowers and crowded beaches. However, signs of summer can also include the orange construction barrels, congestion and detour signs that come with road construction.

This summer, motorists across New Jersey are likely to encounter road construction. These areas can be dangerous for drivers and construction workers alike, and an accident could lead to catastrophic injuries and an inability to work. Therefore, it is crucial for everyone to take steps to stay safe in and around work zones this summer in order to avoid serious accidents.

If you are a motorist, you should:

  • Slow down in work zones
  • Give other drivers plenty of room to switch lanes or brake
  • Put away your phone so you are focused and can respond to changing road conditions or potential hazards
  • Stay calm and be patient; getting angry or trying to race through a work zone puts you and everyone around you in danger
  • Comply with detours, temporary stop signs and all other traffic controls 

If you are part of a road construction crew, you should:

  • Be alert
  • Wear reflective clothing and other gear to keep you safe and visible
  • Stay inside protected areas
  • Comply with all training and safety regulations

It can also be helpful for everyone to understand when, where and why work zone accidents are more likely to occur. According to data from the Federal Highway Administration, work zone accidents are more likely to happen:

  • During the week (Tues. through Thurs.)
  • During the summer months
  • On urban interstates

In 2014, more than 40 percent of crashes in work zones were rear-end collisions, and alcohol or speeding played a role in about half of all fatal crashes in work zones.

How to use this information

We hope this information helps readers understand the importance of being safe in work zones and the steps they can take to do that. When everyone makes a conscious effort to avoid dangerous behaviors around road construction sites, workers and motorists can all have a better summer.