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Work Zone Awareness



2023 National Work Zone Awareness Week is
April 17-21

Did you know?

In Maine, we average over 500 crashes and 2 fatalities per year in work zones?


Your driving actions and habits can save lives, including yours!

• Know the work zone signs. Think of “signs” in two ways. They are the metal plaques that inform and warn you, but there are other devices and other indicators that tell you about the work underway, mark the path you should follow, and help you navigate the work zone. Look for direction from cones, barrels, pavement markings,and other devices designed to get you safely through the work zone.

• Pay attention to other drivers. It’s never a good idea to ignore other drivers no matter where you’re driving, but in work zones you need to be especiallymindful of them. Roadway work zones are less forgiving than normal stretches of highways and streets. They often have narrower lanes and no shoulders to escape to in case you want to take evasive action.

• Stay focused. Avoid distractions. Losing focus on your driving is bad in any situation, but it can prove deadly in roadway work zones. Observing what the signs tell you, controlling your speed, steering carefully, and keeping an eye on other drivers—all demand your full attention. Stop eating. Put down your mobile device. Keep your focus on your driving.

• Expect the unexpected. When you drive in work zones, it’s always best to prepare yourself for something unexpected, such as menacing actions by other motorists, construction vehicles that slow down to leave the roadway and pull into the work area, dump trucks that emerge from the work area and enter your lane up ahead, workers operating scant inches from your path, uneven pavement lanes, and loose gravel on the road surface to name just a few. When you anticipate problems, you are better able to react to them appropriately.

• Keep your cool. Be patient. Don’t get rattled by work zone situations. Always make sure your speed is appropriate to the situation— that could be slower than the posted limit. Finally, don’t lose your patience or your temper. If you keep your cool, you and everyone else will make it through the work zone and arrive safely at your destinations.

Each spring, the Maine Turnpike Authority participates in National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW). National Work Zone Awareness Week is an annual spring campaign held at the start of construction season to encourage safe driving through highway work zones. The key message is for drivers to use extra caution in work zones.

Watch here a 2019 interview with MTA's Bill Thompson (now retired) on how important it is to pay attention and slow down in work zones.