This week is National Work Zone Week and here in Maine and we are already seeing road construction starting up for the season in the state.

It's this time in the season when the snow has melted and roads are cleared of ice and snow. The weather has taken a turn so crews can count on decent weather to get started on road, bridge and other repairs needed for motorists to get around safely and easily.

This week is dedicated to reminding and informing the public of the hazards of work zone areas on our roads, to those doing the work on the roads and to those who are driving the roads during these times.

According to the Maine Turnpike Authority, Maine sees 500 crashes a year with 2 deaths a year due to work zones on the roads of Maine.

Here are some ways to maintain safe driving and safe work conditions through highway work zones:

  • Watch for the signs of a work zone. Not just the metal signs put up but also cones, markers and painted indicators that warn you of hazards and give you direction in a work zone.
  • Watch for other drivers. This seems like an obvious road rule but with narrower lanes and perhaps no shoulder to rely on, paying mindful of the drivers around you will keep you and others safe.
  • Drive without distractions. No phones, no eating, no shaving. Hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. Distractions can be have deadly consequences.
  • Actively pay attention. Seems like the last one but this one is more about anticipating changing road types, road crew workers, other drivers, etc. You never know what could come out of nowhere when there's a lot going on around a work zone area so stay on your toes.
  • Have patience and keep it copacetic. Nobody wants to deal with frustration so, choose to not let it the slower speed or slow pace of other drivers bother you. The goal is for everyone to be safe not to beat the clock.

Check out more about Work Zone Awareness week on the Maine Turnpike Authority's website and at WorkZoneSafety.org.

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