Your guide to handling road works

We’ve all been there – driving along happily in free flowing traffic, only to see the long line of brake lights approaching. Then you see the lines of witches’ hats, flashing lights screaming out “road works ahead – expect delays” and workers holding “slow” or “stop” signs. You’ve hit the dreaded road works that you are likely to encounter on any trip through any major Australian city.

Although being stuck in road works can be somewhat of a nightmare for anyone, they are a particular concern for fleet managers and drivers as they equal lost productivity and revenue. We have put together some handy tips and advice to avoid the hassle of road works.

Plan your routes

When mapping out the best route to take to a particular destination, some prior route planning can help you avoid road works and speed up your trip. There are some simple things you can do to find road-work free routes:

  • Visit the main roads or department of transport website in your state for current road work information and live traffic information. Click on your state below to visit the relevant website:
  • For fleet managers, utilising GPS tracking systems coupled with in-depth reporting can help you improve route efficiencies by measuring the real time fuel consumption on specific routes.
  • You can also use other tools such as route printouts and a log of travel times to lower fleet costs and reduce lost productivity due to road work related delays, outlined in our route planning article.

While the above tips may help you avoid travel delays due to construction works, it is not always possible to avoid them completely. If you have to travel through major road works, be sure to allow for extra travel time to minimise the impact of any traffic jams.

Stay informed about road upgrade plans

Although it may seem like overkill for some, staying informed about future road upgrade plans on routes that you travel often can help you come up with effective alternatives before the works even start. State and Federal Governments often plan out road upgrades years in advance and have documents available on their websites detailing these plans. See our PDF listing of all the work maps from the Department of Infrastructure and Transport for a full overview of the nation’s future road plans.

Road work etiquette

It is easy to get impatient and frustrated when driving through construction zones, and these feelings are only made worse by poor road etiquette. Being kind and courteous to your fellow drivers when stuck in road works will not only help keep you calm, but can also help to avoid dangerous road rage incidents.

When travelling through construction areas, follow these simple tips to keep the road a safe place for everyone:

  • Carefully observe any signposts and altered speed limits
  • Be aware of road layout changes
  • Allow a wide berth for construction workers and machinery operating near the road
  • Be courteous when merging

Final thoughts

Although road works are a pain for all motorists while they are taking place, it is important to remember that they are taking place to better the road network. Through straightforward route planning, being informed and simple road etiquette, you can avoid a road works nightmare.

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