Work Zone Awareness Week April 8-12 Serves as Reminder to Drive Carefully Through Work Zones; Avoid Distractions
This article was archived on 4/14/2019
Each year in the spring, Work Zone Awareness Week brings attention to motorist and worker safety – to encourage safe driving through road work zones. Work Zone Awareness Week this year is April 8-12.
Work zones play a key role in maintaining and upgrading our city streets, as well as state and interstate highways. Unfortunately, daily changes in traffic patterns, narrowed rights-of-way, and other construction activities often create a combination of factors resulting in crashes, injuries, and fatalities.
The key message for Work Zone Awareness Week is that drivers must use extra caution in work zones to keep themselves and others safe. In short: Drive like you work here.
Safety Tips for Driving in Work Zones
- Plan ahead. Expect delays, plan for them, and leave early to reach your destination on time.
- Obey road crews and signs. When approaching a work zone, watch for cones, barrels, signs, large vehicles, or workers in bright-colored vests to warn you and direct you where to go.
- Slow down. Look for signs indicating the speed limit through the work zone. Keep a safe distance from the vehicle ahead of you and follow the posted speed limit.
- Watch for detours and lane diversions. Also, move over a lane if possible when passing work crews and official vehicles parked on the shoulder with flashing warning lights.
- Avoid distractions. Keep your eyes on the road and off your phone. Don’t change radio stations in a work zone.
- Watch for sudden stoppages. According to a 2017 annual report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 25 percent of fatal work zone crashes during that year involved rear-end collisions.
- Watch for large vehicles. Don't make sudden lane changes in front of trucks that are trying to slow down. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also reported that between 2013 and 2017, fatal work zone crashes involving large trucks had increased by 43 percent.