Construction Zone Safety

State Resources

Contact the State of Tennessee Department of Safety for the state’s road conditions at (800) 342-3258, or visit the TDOT Smartway Information System.

Safety Tips

  • Slow down when approaching all work zones! When you see a sign that says, "Road Work 1500 Feet," you will be in the construction zone very quickly!
  • Follow posted speed limits, especially within construction zones. Try to maintain a consistent speed with the traffic flow.
  • Don’t resume normal speed until you see roadway signs indicating it is safe to do so.

Manage Your Space

  • Leave adequate braking room between your vehicle and the one ahead of you. Count at least two seconds from the time the car ahead of you passes an object and the time your car passes that object.
  • Don’t pass on the shoulder and don’t drive across the median!
  • Leave yourself an out. When stopped in traffic, leave a safety zone between you and the vehicle in front of you. A good rule is that when stopped in traffic you should be able to see the bottom of the tires of the vehicle in front of you.
  • Watch out for tailgaters. Do not force tailgaters to back off by slamming on your brakes or reducing your speed significantly. When possible, pull over and let them pass. If this is not possible, turn your headlights on and off several times during daylight hours to illuminate your tail lights and warn tailgaters they are too close. If at night, lightly tap your brake pedal.

Manage Your Stress

  • Keep your cool. Calm down and don’t rush. Remember the temporary inconvenience of a construction zone will pay off with greatly improved roads soon.
  • Learn some simple techniques to keep you calm when you encounter delays in work zones:
  • Practice calm breathing
    • Try to visualize peaceful and calming scenes
    • Don’t allow impatient or speeding motorists to cause you to alter your own good driving habits
    • Pay attention! Avoid cell phone or radio distractions, as well as those of other stopped cars or construction
  • Expect delays. Leave earlier, if necessary, to arrive at your destination on time, or consider using an alternate route that bypasses the construction zones.