The Federal Highway Safety Administration (FHWA) recently posted a press release reminding all drivers to show extra care and caution when driving through or near work zones on highways.
The memo was to celebrate National Work Zone Awareness Week, but the message is appropriate at all times of the year:
National Work Zone Awareness Week is held each April at the traditional start of construction season, when the number of workers on roads and highways increases. Though highway workers are often among the victims of such crashes, it’s important for drivers to understand that four out of five victims in work zone crashes are actually drivers and their passengers. In a typical five-day work week, an average of seven motorists and one worker are killed. Generally, crashes occur when drivers speed through a work zone or do not pay attention to the changing road conditions and run into other vehicles, highway equipment, or safety barriers or drive off the road completely.
The problem is getting worse, too. Consider that during 2011, the most recent year for which data are available, 587 people died in highway work-zone fatalities – an increase of 11 fatalities compared to 2010.
“Workers put themselves in harm’s way to help the rest of us by building and maintaining the roads and bridges that get us where we need to go as safely as possible,” said FHWA Administrator Mendez. “When it comes to keeping highway workers and drivers safe, we’re all in this together.”
To learn more about National Work Zone Awareness Week, navigate to this link — http://www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/wz/outreach/wz_awareness.htm.