Safety is always a top priority for our construction crews. And, roadway safety is the best way for the community at large to make a difference. Over the past year, our roads haven’t been as congested. Drivers and workers alike enjoyed this side effect of lockdowns and social distancing. But now, fourteen months into the pandemic, afternoon and evening traffic is essentially back to where it was pre-pandemic. This is in part thanks to an improved feeling of safety, especially after the CDC updated its recommendations, which says that fully vaccinated people who are traveling domestically are a low risk to themselves. As restrictions roll back and vaccinations ramp up, Ohioans everywhere are ready to get back on the road.
While we have seen a gradual increase in traffic congestion over the last few months, the upcoming Memorial Day weekend might be the biggest travel days we’ve seen in more than a year. AAA estimates that more than 37 million people nationwide will be traveling over the long weekend. This is a major change from the 2020 Memorial Day holiday weekend. In fact, the number of travelers is expected to be 60% higher than this time last year. With this prediction in mind, we all need to keep safety at the forefront this upcoming weekend. Ohioans are simply no longer accustomed to the heavy holiday traffic. To do your part, start with these three safety tips:
- Prepare before you hit the road, but be flexible in your plans. Even though it might be most convenient, we recommend you avoid evening commute times. When possible, plan alternate routes around high-traffic areas. If you need travel guidance along the way, visit TripTik.AAA.com. There, you’ll find the most convenient rest stops, gas stations, and restaurants along your route.
- Stay alert at all times. That means avoiding distractions like your cell phone and following any posted signage in the work zone area. When you see the orange cones, go ahead and slow down so you can be on high-alert at the most critical times.
- Speaking of critical, it’s still important to follow public health guidelines, even with the restrictions pulling back a bit. Check with your local authorities — from your starting location, all along your route, and to your final destination — about any specific restrictions for that area. Remember, the CDC still says that those that are unvaccinated should continue to wear face masks. Everyone should still be socially distancing and washing their hands regularly.
Don’t let this newfound freedom overshadow the safety of our construction crews. This is a perfect opportunity to support the present safety and the future success of our construction industry.