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October 19, 2010

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Drivers warned about the dangers of road works

The UK Highways Agency has published guidance on how to drive through road works safely after research suggested that road works increase the risk accidents.

New figures released by the Agency show that over 700 accidents are reported and more than 1000 people are injured in road works on motorways and trunk roads each year. As many as 1 in 1000 roadside workers are killed in road works each year, which means the profession is listed as the 16th most hazardous occupation in the UK.

In response to the findings the Highways Agency has developed a web-based information service so drivers can identify where road works are taking place so they can plan to avoid them. The website also offers the following safety tips for drivers that have to drive through road works:

  • Plan ahead and allow extra journey time.
  • Take extra care and keep to the posted speed limit.
  • Get into the correct lane in good time – and avoid switching.
  • Concentrate on the road ahead – not the road works.
  • Be alert for works traffic leaving or entering the road.
  • Keep a safe distance – there could be queues in front.
  • Observe all signs – they are there to help you.

Fleet risk management solutions company Interactive Driving Systems hope that the research will highlight the dangers facing roadside workers. The firm’s managing director, Andy Cuerden, said: “Given the dangers identified in the research, we are urging anyone working by the road to ensure their signing, lighting and guarding of the works is always to the book. All employees who work outdoors, or have to travel through road works should be vigilant at all times.”

To view the guidance or for information on the location of road works visit

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13 years ago

Many roadworks are for “safety improvements”, such as installing active warning displays or reinforcing bridge piers. It would be interesting to see a comparison of the injuries, fatalities and delays incurred in carrying out this work with those prevented by the improvements. My guess is that the “safety payback period” could stretch to several years.