Transportation Matters fOR Iowa

Category: Operations

Automation of sound warning to increase safety in Iowa work zones

Automation of sound warning to increase safety in Iowa work zones

October 24, 2022

Crashed attenuatorMaking sure you are paying attention when you’re driving near those working on the road is essential to helping you avoid a crash and keeping everyone in the area safe, the main priority of the Iowa Department of Transportation. Last year we told you about a program that added a loud noise to a piece of equipment known as an attenuator. An attenuator is typically a trailer pulled by a large truck. Their purpose is to block oncoming traffic from entering a work zone and they are designed to take a hit instead of a worker if a driver happens to not be paying attention. While we’ve seen success with adding sound to this equipment, the next step to keeping you safer on the road is to automate the triggering of the noise.

Multi-year I-80/380 project transforming travel in the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids corridor

Multi-year I-80/380 project transforming travel in the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids corridor

August 22, 2022

TransportationImpacts_I80_380Whenever you have a large amount of traffic of various vehicle types converging on one spot, there are a unique set of safety concerns. With “Safety First, “People Matter” and “Customer Focused” as three of our Iowa DOT core values, addressing these concerns is a top priority.

The Interstate 80/380 interchange in Iowa City is a major crossroads for the state of Iowa and the rest of the nation. As one of the busiest interchanges in the state, I-80/I-380 is a vital link in the overall connectivity, mobility, freight movement, and economic well-being. A multi-year project now underway includes installing new directional ramps to increase the safety and flow of traffic and replacing the current loop ramps that have seen weaving traffic which created congestion and safety issues.

New app tests process of identifying available truck parking

New app tests process of identifying available truck parking

August 19, 2022

IMG_7843Driving down the interstate, you get a feel for all the commerce that moves in the trailers of semis. With “Safety First” as a core value of the Iowa Department of Transportation, we’re doing everything we can to support professional drivers, including assisting in research to help them find parking when they need to rest.

Roadside Chat - Keep your load off the road. Tie it or tarp it

Roadside Chat - Keep your load off the road. Tie it or tarp it

July 29, 2022

7-29 keep your load off the roadWith eyes on the road 24/7/365, what do our Traffic Management Center operators see? Tires, ladders, couches, construction materials, and all kinds of other debris are common sights on Iowa’s roadways. From January through the end of June, operators have logged 806 reports of debris on the road.

This debris doesn’t just make Iowa roads look bad, it can be very dangerous for you and your family. Whether you run over the debris and damage a tire, swerve out of the way to avoid debris, or get hit by items flying out of another vehicle, the potential for disaster is high.

Keeping you safer on Iowa’s roadways – update on joint operating procedure agreement between Iowa DOT and Iowa State Patrol

Keeping you safer on Iowa’s roadways – update on joint operating procedure agreement between Iowa DOT and Iowa State Patrol

July 26, 2022

JOPS Graphic v2The Iowa Department of Transportation and the Iowa State Patrol have similar goals to do everything we can to promote safe travel on Iowa’s roadways. In recent years, the two agencies have collaborated on a document to spell out exactly how the agencies work together on traffic incidents on Iowa’s state and U.S. highways and interstates. This Joint Operations Policy Statement sets goals and objectives for collaboration.

Keeping you safer when the unexpected happens

Keeping you safer when the unexpected happens

July 19, 2022

Line of trafficYou're
 on the road, just trying to get where you need to go and you see a line of cars slowing down in front of you. You assume there’s a crash up ahead but wonder when the line will get moving again.

When there is a crash or other incident on the road, it puts both those sharing the road and first responders at risk.  Two of our Iowa Department of Transportation core values are “Safety First” and “People Matter.” Part of living those core values includes managing roadway incidents in a coordinated way to make sure anyone involved in an incident is cared for in a fast and efficient manner and ensuring the safety of all responders and those travelers on the road near an incident.

New tool evaluates similar intersections for safety

New tool evaluates similar intersections for safety

July 18, 2022

Rural intersectionIntersections provide the potential for you to be involved in a crash simply because there is often more than one vehicle at a time using that intersection. One wrong move from a driver can cause a crash.

Statewide, there are thousands of intersections of all shapes and sizes. The Iowa Department of Transportation has the daunting task of evaluating these intersections for potential safety improvements and deciding how to spend our limited safety funding in a way that provides the most benefit to you when you’re on the road.

A new way of analyzing information by comparing data from intersections that are similar in the way they are set up is proving to be effective in assisting Iowa DOT staff with identifying the potential for crash reduction. For example, the potential for crashes on low-traffic rural intersections with 55-mile-per-hour speed limits would be compared to each other rather than to all intersections in the state. This updated way of looking at the potential for safety improvements will help keep you safer as you travel around Iowa.

Roadside Chat - Won't you be my neighbor? Be kind at merge

Roadside Chat - Won't you be my neighbor? Be kind at merge

July 15, 2022

7-15 neighborWhen you see a “lane closed ahead” sign, what’s the first thing that goes through your mind? Are you the aggressive type who tries to get to the front of the line before the merge, or the more friendly driver who simply merges into the line as space opens up?

Aggressive driving is never the safest option, especially in a situation where several vehicles are vying for the same lane at the same time. Here are a few tips for safely navigating a work zone.

 

 

Roadside Chat - Passing on left moves us in right direction

Roadside Chat - Passing on left moves us in right direction

July 8, 2022

7-8 pass on leftFew driving habits infuriate your fellow drivers more than puttering at or below the speed limit in the left lane of a multi-lane highway. There are certain expectations drivers have related to what other drivers are going to do. Unfortunately, over time we may develop our own set of expectations that are sometimes at odds with those sharing the roads. That’s when the potential for crashes increases. Get back to the basics to improve safety for you and those who share the road with you.

 

 

 

Iowa DOT provides employees with commercial driver training

Iowa DOT provides employees with commercial driver training

June 28, 2022

Snomageddon 2019 021Note: This is the third post in a series on Iowa DOT training of field employees.

The safety of our Iowa Department of Transportation employees and everyone who drives in Iowa relies on the consistent and thorough training of our team. In an Iowa DOT garage, the team members are called on to do a wide variety of tasks. They plow snow, repair shoulders, remove brush to improve sightlines, and repair signs and guard rail, which are a few of the many safety assignments they accomplish every day. One thing most of these tasks have in common is the need for our team members to drive very large equipment.

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