BusinessRoad Work Zone Safety

Road Work Zone Safety

Road work goes on for many different reasons, but the most common one is to make the roads safer. However, it is almost paradoxical that in making the roads safer, roadworks place the workers in a certain degree of danger. For sure there are a range of safety regulations in place to protect these workers working out on the highway, with speeding cars zipping past for the duration of the shift. Nevertheless, there is no room for complacency here; just as road travel is constantly developing, so too must the safety regulations for highway workers adapt to keep up.

A lot is made of the development of electric vehicles and how they are soon to take over the roads at the expense of traditional gas-powered vehicles. Nonetheless, the total number of cars is only expected to increase. The world economic forum has predicted that the number of vehicles on the road is set to double in only the next twenty years, and they’re going to be more advanced and high tech too. That means not only will there be more of them, but they will be going faster as well. 

Of course, new vehicles are being made with highly developed safety features, so there is certainly something being done to maintain – and improve – a certain level of safety among motorists. But just as these safety features need to adapt to meet the future, so too much the safety regulations and infrastructure determining how highway work is carried out. 

Road Development

Before getting on to what the forefront of road worker safety looks like, it is worth also pointing out that more of it will need to be done. As the number of cars on our roads increases – and as technology advances – new road construction projects are being undertaken all the time. 

Valtir, highway safety specialists out of Texas, say that this can take a truly diverse number of forms. This could be expanding the actual size of highways, fitting them with highway crash cushions more suited to modern vehicles, or even carrying out more high-tech development such as new traffic light software and the integration of self-driving cars into that system. Admittedly, that last one is yet to arrive – but it’s coming. 

How to Build a Safer Road Work Zone 

So, how do modern road maintenance and construction companies build a place on the highway for their employees to work that can offer all the safety that is necessary in the modern era? 

It rather depends on what type of work needs to be done (and that’s something not only diverse but changing all the time too). However, the modern approach tends to value not just cars, but pedestrians and workers too. The perils for highway workers today normally involve sudden lane changes, poor visibility at night, cars going too fast, and cars simply driving in the wrong lane. It would be an ideal world if motorists always followed the rules – but they don’t. 

Accordingly, there is all manner of innovative technology and infrastructure to account for these possible accidents. Some things never change though and one of those is the importance of visibility. At night, work zones should be full of electric light, fluorescent clothing, and reflective signs. Given the speed of modern cars, one of the ways that this has been evolving is to include highly visible temporary road signs some distance from the work zone to warn motorists that it is coming up.

As the danger of roads increases, safety needs to increase too – and we can see this in almost any place where road safety is a concern.

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