Now that winter is over, except in some weather challenged areas. Wyoming and Colorado you know who you are! We are starting to see the blacktop machines, loaders and rollers come out. As well as all of the signs. We just wanted to remind everyone out there to slow down and move over. As a truck driver myself I understand how confusing some of those road construction zones can be. So make sure that when you see one of those bright orange signs that says “Construction Zone Ahead” you perk up. The signs can be one of the best ways to get through the zone without a problem.
I really cringe when I see people not reacting to the “left or right lane closed signs” and then they find themselves in a nasty situation. This happened to me down in North Salt Lake City, Utah. A motorist wasn’t paying attention and their lane was ending. They were dead even with my pup trailer and they weren’t going anywhere fast. I can’t speed up because my truck is governed. After watching the orange barrels start to squeeze next to my truck I looked back in my mirror to see her sending barrels flying.
One of the best ways to avoid problems in a construction zone is to SLOW DOWN! Whenever you see the orange signs or barrels it means something is happening around you. It doesn’t always mean the guys are out working, and it doesn’t mean that they actually completed everything they were supposed to do. Ever found yourself getting your trailer pulled to one side or the other because of an abrupt lane edge? Have you gone through a detour that read 65 mph and should have been 35? Raise your hand because I’ve done all of the above at one point or the other. Lucky for me it wasn’t bad enough to cause an accident. You never know how new the construction zone is and they may not have found that “sweet spot” speed for the crossover yet.
Another way to avoid problems in a work zone is to act early. Remember, even if you are only hauling a 53′ dry box you are still 70 feet long. We can’t maneuver like a four wheeler does. If you see the sign and it’s clear, move over. The four wheelers may get mad at you just like they do when you move over for emergency vehicles or cars on the shoulder. If they want to go around you and eat some orange barrel make sure you have a dash cam and send it to me so I can put it up on our social media for everyone to enjoy!
Lastly, approach work zones with the same attitude you approach the interstate with. Drive like those guys and gals in the orange vests are your family. Would you want some jerk flying past your Dad, Wife or Kids and possibly taking their arm off? Then don’t do it yourself! Also, plan accordingly. With construction season in full bloom we want to allow for extra time. I know it’s warm outside and the roads are dry and dusty. Remember you’ll get held up in a construction zone and if they are laying gravel and you get in a hurry your windshield will be in as much pain as your wallet will when you’ll have to replace it. So keep it safe, productive and legal my friends. We’ll see you on the road!