Due to the United States’ aging infrastructure, we’ve seen an exponential increase in changes to traffic patterns, narrowed rights-of-way and additional construction activities resulting in more fatalities, injuries and crashes, not to mention excessive delays.
To ensure the safety of all motorists and construction workers, proactive management of work zone operations has evolved from a temporary work zone to the utilization of ITS (Intelligent Transportation Systems), more commonly referred to as “Smart Work Zones.”
Let’s look at the dynamics of a temporary work zone in the United States:
- More than 10,000 exist on any given day
- In the last three years, work zone fatalities have increased an average of eight people every day
- Speed is a contributing factor in almost 29% of 2017 fatal work zone crashes
- A temporary work zone represents a change in the “permanent map.”
- It is a “permanent map” that navigation systems rely on for proper positioning of the car
Texting while driving, self-driving cars and connected (C2X) vehicles are just a small portion of the factors impacting safety.
Contractors and DOT agencies need to ensure the digital world is aware of the presence of their work zones. How do you share work zone information with the digital world today? Companies exist which are providing equipment and services to develop what are called “smart work zones.”
Smart work zone systems are designed to predict travel time, delays or the current speed in a work zone on a real-time basis. These systems are intended to better inform motorists, encourage them to take alternate routes, limit their frustration, reduce congestion, and enhance safety for motorists and workers. These systems can be used to provide real-time information to motorists during incidents, temporary closures, or any unexpected roadway conditions.
Such systems, if properly designed and implemented, can accomplish the following:
- Make work zones safer for highway workers and motorists
- Clear incidents more quickly, thereby reducing secondary incidents
- Encourage motorists to take alternate routes whenever possible
- Reduce congestion and allow more free flowing traffic
- Better inform motorists and reduce their frustrations.
For everyone’s well-being and the ability to arrive safely at your destination, consider investigating and adopting smart work zone technology. Currently only 3-5% of all temporary work zones deploy ITS innovations. This technology, for construction workers and motorists alike, can mean the difference between life and death.
Information provided by iCone Products LLC.