In Chicago (where HAAS Alert is headquartered), we have two seasons...Winter and Construction. Now that our 6-month winter season has ended (although snow in May is certainly a possibility), we’re gearing up for our 6-month construction season.
National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW) is an annual campaign held each Spring - i.e., the start of the construction season - to encourage safe driving through highway work zones. NWZAW is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, with its consistent message for drivers to use extra caution in work zones.
It’s important to note that work zone safety issues are not specific to highways. Any time there are people doing maintenance, repair, or construction work in a roadway, they are at risk of injury due to collisions with passing vehicles.
While NWZAW has been promoting work zone safety for 20 years, the number of incidents in work zones is not decreasing, as driver distraction remains a critical factor in contributing to crashes in work zones. While advocacy campaigns are important in raising driver and legislative awareness to safety in work zones, they are not the right tool to address the problem in the moment - i.e., while drivers are approaching and passing through a work zone.
Today’s approach to improving work zone safety still relies on traditional safety measures - flashing lights, message boards, cones & barrels, humans holding signs, etc. While there have been innovative incremental improvements in these solutions (e.g., sequential LED flares), they still rely on the driver to be paying attention while they are approaching the work zone. With mobile phones within arm’s reach and vehicle infotainment systems adding more features, driver distraction continues to be a major issue on the roadway.
HAAS Alert’s Safety Cloud® takes a modern approach to roadway safety - Digital Alerting. By sending safety alerts to drivers through their mobile phone navigation apps and vehicle infotainment systems, we are getting the attention of drivers in advance of the roadway hazard. By receiving an alert 15 - 20 seconds in advance, drivers are more aware of their surroundings earlier, allowing them to make safer, smarter driving decisions.er to be paying attention while they are approaching the work zone. With mobile phones within arm’s reach and vehicle infotainment systems adding more features, driver distraction continues to be a major issue on the roadway.
To activate Safety Cloud, a small transponder is installed in a work zone vehicle, attenuator, or message board. When those equipment are in the work zone, data is transmitted to Safety Cloud indicating the active work zone. Upon receiving the data, Safety Cloud instantaneously creates a safety alert ready for delivery to its Digital Alerting partners. In lieu of the transponder, active work zones can share data with Safety Cloud via a software API.
State, county, and municipal DOTs across the world can use Safety Cloud to improve the safety of their people in any type of work zone. Whether it’s a quick pothole repair project, a traffic signal replacement, or highway construction project, Digital Alerting is an effective* safety measure to implement to improve the health and safety of the workers.
* Drivers receiving an advance warning about an upcoming roadway hazard are up to 90% less likely to get in a collision, according to a University of Minnesota study.