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Work Zone Fatalities Can be Prevented!

April 15 to 19 Is National Work Zone Awareness Week

National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW) is an annual spring campaign aimed at preventing work zone fatalities and raising awareness of work zone safety between drivers and workers. Now in its’ 25th year, NWZAW is a cooperative event between government agencies, private companies and national road and highway safety organizations, whose mission is to educate the public on the importance of road safety as it relates to work zones.

According to data from the ​NSC, in 2022, 891 people were killed and 37,701 people were injured in work zone crashes. Work zone crashes are defined as taking place within the boundaries of a work zone or on an approach to or exit from a work zone due to activities, behaviors, or controls related to traffic moving through the boundaries of a work zone.

Of the 891 work zone fatalities:

  • 528 were in construction zones.
  • 305 were in work zones of unknown type.
  • 49 were in maintenance zones.
  • 9 were in a utility zone.
  • Work zone deaths reached a high in 2002, at 1,186. The fewest work zone deaths occurred in 2010, with 586. Since 2010, work zone deaths have increased 52%, but have decreased 7% in 2022.

Work Zone Fatality Prevention Begins with You!

What many fail to recognize is the vast majority of people killed in work zone crashes are motorists and their passengers, making it all the more important for drivers to slow down and stay focused while approaching and passing through a roadway work zone.

With that in mind, here are seven tips to remember the next time you hit the road:

  1. Slow down! Speeding is one of the major causes of crashes.
  2. Obey road crew flaggers. The flagger knows what is best for moving traffic safely in the work zone.
  3. Always expect the unexpected. Normal speed limits may be reduced, traffic lanes reduced, and people may be working on or near the road.
  4. Pay attention. The warning signs are there to help you move safely through the work zone. Observe the posted signs.
  5. Keep a safe distance. The most common type of accident in a work zone is a rear-end collision. Maintain two car lengths between you and the car in front of you as well as road crews and their equipment.
  6. Stay alert and minimize distractions. Dedicate your full attention to the roadway and avoid changing radio stations or using cell phones while driving.
  7. Keep up with traffic flow. Motorists can help maintain traffic flow and posted speeds by merging as soon as possible. Do not drive right up to the lane closure and then try to barge in.

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