Some people know Highway 285 in Texas as one of the most dangerous highways in the United States due to its frequency of vehicular crashes. Recently, the Texas Department of Public Safety announced an upgrade of a two mile stretch of Highway 285 near Pecos. According to a news report from the Your Basin website, this upgrade will improve intersections and drainage and repair pavement.
A work zone presents special challenges for vehicles, particularly large trucks. The news report explains that one lane will remain open going either way during the construction project. Big trucks, which are already large and hard to maneuver, have to shift even more carefully while navigating a work zone. Fleet Owner explains what truck drivers have to watch out for while driving through a work area and safety driving steps they should take.
Watch for work zone signs
Sometimes drivers do not even know they are entering a work zone. This is often due to driver distraction. Work zone signs inform drivers that a change in regular driving patterns lies ahead. Knowing that a work zone is ahead should tell a truck driver to be ready to slow down and exercise greater caution, not just because of nearby traffic, but to drive safely near road workers.
In general, driving too close to a vehicle invites the risk of a rear-ender. The risk can increase by driving in a work zone since the vehicle ahead may need to slow down or stop. So even if a trucker feels confident in hitting the brakes in time, it is better to keep proper distance between the truck and the vehicle ahead. Also, truckers should try to pay attention to the visual horizon so they can monitor traffic up ahead and notice changes in how the traffic moves.
Some drivers may become impatient if they feel they are not making good time on the road and drive aggressively. However, truckers who approach a work zone should prepare for a longer drive time due to the slower speeds and more cautious driving needed to navigate the zone. Truck drivers should also plan on some waiting time since a flagger might stop traffic for a moment.