July seems to be a very busy month with back-to-school sales, weekend lake trips, and last-minute vacations. This can result in a lot more people being on Arizona’s roadways. In many parts of the state, these roadways may also either be being constructed or repaired, which can lead to unwanted traffic jams.
Delays caused by roadwork can cause the best of us to become frustrated – especially if we procrastinated a little too long that morning. This can be dangerous for everyone on the road. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, there were an estimated 96,626 crashes in work zones in 2015 alone.
These statistics are far too high!
Staying safe while driving through work zones – whether on your way to work, home or out of town – is 100% possible. Use the following tips to ensure your safety and the safety of everyone on the road when driving through work zones. These tips are helpful during Arizona’s monsoon season as well.
WAIT STORMS OUT
From June 15th to September 30th, Arizonans must face not only relentless heat, but severe weather conditions. Dust storms and heavy rainfall can bring visibility to zero, which is why ADOT stresses the importance of safely pulling off the roadway and if possible, exiting completely until the storm has passed. Thankfully, they’re usually brief.
Getting from Point A to B requires you to be attentive. You cannot drive safely if you’re distracted by your phone, passengers, lunch, or hygiene – period! All these activities can and should wait until you’re outside your vehicle. Put your phone in your purse, backpack or briefcase, and leave it in the backseat or trunk of your car.
EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED
Situations can change quickly in Arizona. This is true of both work zones and monsoon season. Traffic can slow or stop unexpectedly, lanes could merge, or a haboob can hit out of nowhere. Your first line of defense is to be prepared. Do this by increasing your following distance (don’t tailgate!), obeying flaggers and posted signs, and slowing down.
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