With more than 150 people killed in road maintenance crashes in a year, it is clear that more needs to be done to improve work zone safety. To mark the National Work Zone Awareness Week, we’d like to raise awareness of how vehicle-to-everything (V2X) can help when people are on the road.
Normally, roadworks are signposted well in advance to give drivers time to slow down. When you get right up to the work area on a minor road, flaggers will stand in your way and show you if you can pass.
This is exactly what happened last week when we were traveling on a mountain road near Boulder Creek, CA. The flagger even waved us to slow down and we couldn’t understand why. Then, about 30 yards later, it became obvious: a man was kneeling down on the road, working right next to our lane.
A similar situation on the motorways is not nearly as safe. You can travel at much higher speeds, and there is no special signalling for the presence of workers.
This is where V2X can help the most
It is essential to involve vulnerable road users in the V2X ecosystem to significantly reduce road fatalities. We have the technology to equip road workers with V2X beacons so that drivers know exactly that there is a man on the road. Cars with on-board V2X can receive the messages and display a warning long before the flagger is in sight.
Accurate information is the key to confident and safe driving, and only V2X can deliver it to vehicles in a timely manner, even when the hazard is out of the driver’s line of sight.