Guest Editorial: Sgt. James Anderson, Louisiana State Police Troop D
This week is National Work Zone Awareness Week and I would like you to consider this: Work zones play a key role in maintaining our roadways.
Unfortunately, changes in traffic patterns, narrow rights of way and other construction activities often create a combination of crashes, injuries, and, in 2016, 765 work-zone deaths in our country. Twelve of those were in Louisiana. These crashes can also cause excessive delays.
So what can you do?
- Plan ahead and allow extra time to get to your destination. Local media, as well as the 511La.org website and free 511La app are great sources of information.
- Expect the unexpected as work zones often change.
- Avoid distractions. Distracted driving in a work zone can have deadly consequences.
- Pay attention to other drivers. Paying attention can prevent the need for unsafe evasive action in work zones.
- Keep a safe distance from the vehicle ahead of you and don't speed. Many of the crashes we investigate, even around work zones, involve drivers who are driving too fast and are following too close.
- Obey road clues and warning signs.
- Be patient and stay calm. Work-zone crew members are working to improve the roadways we rely on.
- Finally, wear your seatbelt. It is your best defense in the event of a crash.
Work-zone incidents impact everyone. Your driving habits directly help, or harm, the well-being of other motorists, cyclists, workers and pedestrians - including you.