ND Driver Safety | Construction Zone Driving | 3S Check

Driving IQ // Construction Zones

Tips for safe navigation of construction zones

The 'S' Check

Driving through construction zones is necessary. New roads are built to improve traffic flow. Other roads need to be maintained to give you a smooth and safe drive. However, we know that construction will affect your drive time and experience.
The 3 'S' checks will help you arrive safely at your destination.

Speed Checkconstruction zone

  • Slow down when you approach a work zone; It comes faster than you think
  • Follow posted speed limits, even if there are no workers present.
  • Resume normal speed when the signs instruct you to do so.

Space Check

  • Leave at least 2 seconds between you and the car in front of you. If you stop, make sure you can see their rear wheels.
  • Do not pass on the shoulder of the road.
  • Don't make a point with tailgaters by slamming on your brakes. A collision won't solve anything.

Stress Check

  • If it's construction season, plan your route so you know where construction is occurring.
  • Expect delays. Leave extra time so you don't need to worry about running late.
  • Driving lanes are often close together during construction zones. Avoid all distractions like cell phones and changing music stations.

Source: http://www.modot.mo.gov/workzones/safety/

Special signs and traffic control devices are used in highway work zones. Most signs in work areas are diamond shaped. A few signs are rectangular. These signs are orange with a black legend. You may also see electronic signs that display changing messages. Slow down through construction and maintenance zones!

Failure to comply with work zone speed limits carries an $80 minimum fee when work is in progress and workers are present.

Channelizing devices

Barricades, vertical panels, drums, cones, and tubes are the most commonly used devices to alert drivers of conditions in highway and street work areas and to guide drivers safely through the work zone. Pass to the Left Barricade Panel Pass to the Right The diagonal stripes on the barricade or vertical panel guide the driver towards the direction to which traffic is to pass. Stripes sloping downward to the right mean the driver should keep to the right. Conversely, stripes sloping downward to the left mean keep to the left.


Flagpersons are often provided in highway and street work zones to stop, slow, or guide traffic safely through the area. Flagpersons wear orange, yellow, strong yellow green, or fluorescent vests, shirts, or jackets and use red flags or stop/slow paddles to direct traffic through work zones.

Flashing arrow panels

Large flashing or sequencing arrow panels may be used in work zones both day and night to direct drivers into certain traffic lanes and to inform them that part of the road or street ahead of them is closed. The arrow panel may also be used in a caution mode.

Work zone safety tips

Pay attention. Work Zones contain many hazards such as uneven pavement, narrow lanes, heavy equipment, and loose gravel. Slow down. Most crashes in the summer months are related to excessive speeds. Remember, workers are just inches away from traffic. Watch for signs. Over 25,000 serious injuries occur nationally in work zones each year. See Orange signs. 98% of Work Zone fatalities are travelers. Motorists and passengers suffer most of the traffic casualties in work zones.

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