Roadworks safe for workers at home?
Here’s one for you
Today I was on my way to a client to complete a safety audit and I was driving down a well-known motorway when lo and behold guess what I came across…. You guessed it some road works.
Now I know you probably don’t belive me but honest I managed to find some of the elusive road works in the UK that you sometimes hear about in the news very rarely 🙂
I am of course being totally sarcastic because im sure you will know that if you drive more than about 10 miles in the UK you will inevitably hit some road works.
OK so while I was driving down the motorway there was the usual endless stream of road cones at the side of the road (not closing any lanes just sitting on the verge!) and the all important 40 mph speed restriction (complete with distance-avarage speed cameras!).
I would imagine on this 4 lane stretch of motorway the speed restrictions were to protect the workforce?
After about 10 miles of driving I saw not one worker or any sign of work being completed?
Now maybe the work was scheduled to be done soon or maybe completed already, who knows.
The point is I was driving down a 4 lane motorway at 40 mph with not much traffic about and no workers to be seen.
So apart from the restrictions upsetting a lot of people who would probably be late for work or worse receive a fixed penalty and fine in the post if they crept over 40 mph, I found another problem!
Due to driving so slowly for so long with nothing to look at I found my concentration wondering and also found myself yawning and getting very tired.
Now as we all know driving while tired is a big no-no and you should pull over and have a break open a widow and drink some coffee.
Apart from not being allowed to stop on a motorway and not having any coffee I did the next best thing and opened the window.
The next service stop was about 10 more miles so due to having to drive at 40 mph this would take quarter of an hour to reach, where as if I was allowed to drive at 70 mph I would arrive there in under 10 minutes.
So in effect the speed restriction was making me drive while tired for longer.
If you’re wondering this was at 10am on a Thursday morning and I had a good night sleep the night before and felt ok before I hit this stretch of road.
Just as I was contemplating sticking my head out the window to wake me up (not really do not try this) my car phone rang (yes hands free!) and it was my client apologising that he had been called out on an urgent job so I would not be able to complete the audit.
To cut a long story short I came off at the next exit and returned the opposite way on the motorway where there were no restrictions.
Have you guessed the end yet?
Well 10 points if you guessed that driving back home at 70 mph woke me up again and I was back to being my alert self.
So the question is:
Is it safer to drive at the national speed limit of 70 mph needing to have your wits about you or is it safer to be bored to death, be late and probably fall a sleep and swerve off the road.
I feel bad for the people in countries where the speed limit is 55 mph on great stretches of open road.
Once again I will leave it for you to decide
Until next time