Home > Safety Programs > MDOT SHA’s Highway Safety Programs > Driving Safely in Work Zones

Driving Safely in Work Zones


You’ve seen the orange cones and barrels in Maryland’s roadway work zones. You’ve probably seen our highway workers, too. They’re out on the road every day mowing, repairing pot holes and repairing roads and bridges – making our State safer for you and your family.

We understand highway work zones can result in delays and frustrations. Spring and summer mark the beginning of roadway construction season, and there are tools available to help you plan ahead. Know before you go with the State’s official travel information service called Maryland 511. Simply call 511 or visit the web site at www.md511.org to use Maryland 511. You can also learn about major upcoming construction projects with our annual Road Ready e-brochure. Remember that roadside work not only includes major projects that may take years to complete, but also smaller, mobile work zones such as landscaping, pothole repair and litter removal.

Please understand that when you drive dangerously through a highway work zone you’re putting the lives of highway workers at risk. At the same time you’re risking your life and the lives of your loved ones. That’s because four out of five people who die in highway work zones are either drivers or their passengers.

Safer driving. Safer work zones. For everyone.

Maryland Supports National Work Zone Awareness Week!


Scary Statistics:

When driving through work zones, even the smallest mistake can be deadly. Take a look at these numbers:

  • Nationally, more than 700 people die in work zones each year.
  • Four out of five people killed in work zones are motorists – not highway workers.
  • Most work zone crashes are rear-end collisions.
  • While most major work occurs at night, the majority of work zone crashes occur during daylight hours.
  • On average, most work zone crashes (more than 10 percent in each of the following jurisdictions) occurred in Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, and Baltimore City.
  • Major contributing factors in work zone crashes include: not paying attention, going too fast for conditions, failure to yield the right-of-way and following too closely.

Work Zone Safety is Everyone’s Business!

Driving Tips:

These simple tips could save your life in a work zone:
  • Think Orange! When you see orange signs, cones and barrels, expect a roadside work zone ahead.
  • Stay alert! Look for reduced speed limits, narrow driving lanes and highway workers.
  • Pay attention. Work zone signs will tell you exactly what to expect ahead.
  • Merge early. If drivers merge as soon as they see the signs, traffic will flow more smoothly.
  • Slow down. You may encounter slowed or stopped traffic in an instant.
  • Don’t follow too closely. Maintain a safe distance on all sides of your vehicle.
  • Minimize distractions. Remember Maryland State law bans hand-held cell phones and texting.
  • Plan ahead. Expect delays and allow extra travel time. Select an alternate route if you are running late. Learn about current and planned lane closures with 511 or MDOT SHA’s Coordinated Highways Response Team web site at http://chart.state.md.us/


Meet Bernie, the Barrel Man!

Bernie has an important message: Slow down and stay alert in work zones!

NightBernie was created by Carl Moser (left, middle) to help spread the message about the critical need to slow down and stay alert in work zones. Carl’s father, Rick Moser, was killed by a speeding, inattentive driver while performing maintenance on a Frederick County bridge. Rick was a Team Leader at MDOT SHA's Frederick Shop. The Moser family is on a crusade to spread the message about the staying alert in work zones to prevent another family from experiencing their tragic loss.


If you are concerned about something you’ve seen in an MDOT SHA work zone, please report it through our Customer Care Management System.


Maryland photo enforces speeds in eligible work zones for YOUR safety and the safety of our workers.

Maryland SafeZonesThe Maryland SafeZones program allows the Maryland State Police and Maryland Transportation Authority Police to enforce the speed limit in highway work zones with automated camera equipment.

The Maryland SafeZones program was created to improve safety for workers and travelers since nationally, four out of every five people injured in highway work zone crashes are drivers or passengers.

Speeding violations in SafeZones construction sites have decreased by more than 80 percent. When the program began, approximately seven out of every 100 drivers in the SafeZones construction areas were exceeding the speed limit by 12 mph or more. Today, fewer than two drivers out of every 100 are receiving citations in SafeZones. See chart below demonstrating dramatic decrease in speeding violations since the start of the program.

Please click here to visit the Maryland SafeZones website.