AAA Urges Caution When Driving Through Work Zones

April 3-7, 2017 is National Work Zone Awareness Week

acsc tow truck and driver hitching up car

VIRGINIA BEACH,VA (April 4, 2017) – AAA Tidewater Virginia supports National Work Zone Awareness Week, encouraging motorists to use added caution and practice safe driving habits when approaching and driving through work zones. It's important for the driving public to be aware of increased construction activity and to adjust to changing conditions in work zones when they encounter them, especially during this peak travel period.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 700 people were killed in work zones in 2015, of which 130 were workers killed at road construction sites nationwide, a 9% increase (44 were workers on foot struck by vehicle).  In addition to work zone intrusions, workers are also faced with the hazard of being struck by construction equipment.

AAA offers the following work zone safety tips to motorists:

Plan Ahead -- Motorists are encouraged to check for planned work zone delays, traffic advisories and allot extra travel time prior to departing for their trip. Free to all travelers, the AAA TripTik(R) Travel Planner online mapping tool, available at AAA.com, provides motorists with the latest road construction and traffic congestion information and motorists can plan and select alternative travel routes to their destinations.

Stay Alert -- Motorists should obey the directions of any police officer, firefighter or road crew flagger and follow any posted work zone advisories and signage. Temporary work zone signs are orange and nearly always diamond-shaped. As with any driving situation, minimize interior and exterior distractions. Construction zones may contain unusual vehicles or machinery that can divert a driver's attention. Drivers should be prepared to stop, slow down, shift lanes and yield to the movement of construction workers and equipment. Motorists should not turn off their vehicles when stopped on the roadway unless they will be idling for a significant period of time.

Reduce Speed -- For the safety of all drivers and construction workers, normal posted speed limits are almost always reduced in work zones. Most states double fines for speeding in work zones when workers are present. Motorists, while keeping consistent with the flow of traffic, should maintain a safe distance between vehicles ahead, traffic barriers and construction workers and equipment.

As part of North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA Tidewater Virginia provides its more than 330,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding AAA Tidewater Virginia has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.  For more information, visit AAA.com and follow us on Twitter at Twitter.com/AAATidewaterVA or on Facebook at facebook.com/AAATidewaterVirginia