Transportation Matters fOR Iowa

Category: Work Zone

Roadside Chat – Drive buzzed & you may bee without a license

Roadside Chat – Drive buzzed & you may bee without a license

June 21, 2024

6-21-Bee-without-licenseIn Iowa you are over the legal limit to drive if your blood alcohol content is .08 or higher. How quickly it takes you to become legally drunk will depend on a variety of factors such as your body composition, the type of alcohol you are drinking, or how much food you ate. Even if you feel like you are just buzzed, you can start feeling and showing signs of impairment the moment you take your first drink.

Getting behind the wheel with any amount of alcohol in your system can impact your judgement and decision-making skills creating a dangerous situation for yourself, your passengers, and anyone who shares the road with you. In addition, your blood alcohol level can rise as your body processes the alcohol and you can go from buzzed to legally drunk leading to the loss of your license, fines, jail time, a variety of complications in your life, and even death.

Collaborative efforts taking shape for planning safer work zones

Collaborative efforts taking shape for planning safer work zones

April 15, 2024

IMG_0792With the relatively mild winter we’ve had, you’ve likely already encountered work zones on Iowa roads. With National Work Zone Safety Awareness Week kicking off today, here's more information about how we work with our partners to plan safer work zones for everyone.  

At the end of last year, we convened our third Work Zone Information Sharing Workshop. The two-day meeting brought together not just Iowa DOT management, central office, and field forces, but our partners in law enforcement, academia, motor carriers, traffic control contractors, the traffic management center, and Federal Highway Administration officials.

Potential first responders learning to be safer on the road in Sioux City

Potential first responders learning to be safer on the road in Sioux City

December 11, 2023

RoadsideSafety is at the core of all we do. But we can’t do it all. At the Iowa DOT, we are part of a larger community of first responders. For all of us to be safer when responding to a crash or other incident on the road, we all need to work from the same playbook. The Federal Highway Administration designed a standardized training program for all roadway first responders including firefighters, emergency medical personnel, law enforcement, and towing companies.  All Iowa DOT field forces go through this training and our Traffic Operations Bureau has a hand in training other responders statewide.

HIGH-FLYING SAFETY INITIATIVE AIMS TO GET TRAFFIC MOVING MORE QUICKLY AFTER AN INCIDENT

HIGH-FLYING SAFETY INITIATIVE AIMS TO GET TRAFFIC MOVING MORE QUICKLY AFTER AN INCIDENT

April 20, 2023

45870468_1997712390275759_6678215674701021184_nWhen something unexpected like a traffic crash happens, getting first responders to the scene to treat you if you’re injured is the first priority. While this is happening, law enforcement and other first responders, including the Iowa Department of Transportation, are completing investigations and doing whatever they can to get the road cleared so traffic can get moving normally again.

Helping motorists navigate safer routes in an emergency

Helping motorists navigate safer routes in an emergency

April 11, 2023

Crash sceneWhenever there is a crash, tensions can run high for everyone involved. With “Safety First” and “People Matter” as two of our core values, doing whatever we can to relieve some of that tension is a high priority.

No one likes to sit in traffic waiting for lanes to be cleared after a crash. Not only is it annoying, but it can also be very dangerous. Jim Armstrong, an engineer in our Systems Operations Division quotes a national statistic that for every minute a lane is closed and traffic backs up, the risk of a second crash in the same area goes up 2.8 percent.

Heads up! Iowa DOT is using technology to give you more information when you’re on the road

Heads up! Iowa DOT is using technology to give you more information when you’re on the road

October 28, 2022

IMG_0841Chances are if you spend much time driving, you’ve come up on a line of traffic that is stopped or slowed down due to road construction. These lines or “queues” as traffic safety professionals call them, put drivers at a high risk of rear-end crashes if they’re not paying close attention to what is up ahead. This construction season the Iowa DOT explored additional technology that can provide drivers with more detailed information about stopped or slow traffic ahead.

Enhancing worker safety – new technology may light the way

Enhancing worker safety – new technology may light the way

October 26, 2022

Highway workerHighway maintenance workers will tell you, to work along the road, you must keep a constant eye on both the work you are doing and the traffic moving around you. But splitting your concentration isn’t ideal and it can be dangerous.

As part of the Iowa DOT’s Business Plan,  a one-year objective for 2022 seeks to “Improve Work Zone Safety.” One element of that objective is focused on helping motorists better see work zones, theoretically helping them avoid crashes in work areas.  With the 2020 deaths of two of our employees, Lynn Roder and Jeff Arbogast, fresh in our hearts and minds, this objective has become even more urgent.

Using roadside technology to help you better plan a safer trip

Using roadside technology to help you better plan a safer trip

October 25, 2022

Smart arrow board on highwayWhether you’re planning a weekend getaway or a trip to visit family and friends, having the best information about your route will help you have a safer, quicker, and less stressful journey. While winter is coming, the Iowa Department of Transportation and our construction partners will still have many active work zones as long as the weather holds. These work zones and associated delays can sometimes put a kink in your travel plans if you’re not prepared for them.

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.

New Fort Dodge intersection developed to reduce number of crashes and serious injuries

New Fort Dodge intersection developed to reduce number of crashes and serious injuries

September 20, 2022

IMG_7869If you’re a parent of more than one child, you know a thing or two about how to reduce conflict. Some sage advice includes separating the conflicting items (in this instance, children) to give them time to think about what to do next, potentially reducing the risk of injury.

It’s really not so different with drivers approaching an at-grade intersection on a four-lane highway. The more you can separate the drivers and give them time to think about what’s next, the fewer conflicts or crashes will happen and the severity of the conflicts that do happen is reduced.

That’s exactly what is going on right now on U.S. 20 at Poplar Avenue near Fort Dodge. A new “reduced-conflict” intersection was opened recently with the goal of seeing fewer crashes and injuries at an intersection that may be getting much busier soon with the opening of a travel plaza.

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