Pilot Cars Help Prevent Accidents

When there is road work, oftentimes, traffic will be thinned to one lane only. Of course, there will still be vehicles coming from both directions. Pilot cars are regularly used to help direct traffic both ways so as to prevent utter chaos from ensuing.

Pilot cars are easily identified by a sign on the back of them that reads “PILOT CAR FOLLOW ME.” Two other workers, known as flaggers, are positioned at each end of the construction zone. One of them releases traffic to follow the pilot car; the other holds traffic on the other side of the construction zone.

Even though the environment around a pilot car is relatively controlled, it is still in everyone’s best interest that outside traffic takes some steps to stay safe. This will not only keep workers safe, but it will also keep traffic flowing smoothly—preventing accidents, which are not only dangerous but a hindrance to the overall movement of traffic.

One of the easiest steps when following pilot cars does not even involve the pilot cars themselves. Instead, it involves the flaggers. Though the time spent idle while the other lane of traffic is being moved may be infuriating, it is of the utmost important that drivers do not drive until they are released by flaggers.

On a similar note, vehicles should only be moving in the same direction as the pilot cars. Pilot cars are being used because traffic has been restricted to a point where it can only move in one direction. Therefore, driving against the grain is a recipe for disaster. However, it is easy to prevent this disorder from occurring, so long as the flagger is obeyed.

For the most part, staying safe around pilot cars is easy. Aside from obeying flaggers and going with the flow of traffic, the only other points to keep in mind are that, even though traffic has been altered because of the other work going on, the normal rules of the road apply. It is especially important to remember to not become distracted. With workers nearby, not paying attention can have deadly consequences.

Pilot cars are a great tool in construction areas. They help direct vehicles in a way that will prevent disarray in an environment where traffic has been altered. And, by and large, the presence of pilot cars and flaggers is sufficient to keep the road safe. Nonetheless, if drivers stay alert, patient and follow the lead of flaggers and the pilot car, everything will be all the safer.