Besides the blooming flowers, another sign of spring is a growing number of construction projects. Each year in the spring and the unofficial start of the construction season National Work Zone Awareness Week is held to bring national attention to motorist regarding worker safety and mobility issues in work zones.
This year National Work Zone Awareness Week will be held the week of April 3-7. Transportation accidents have been the leading cause of on-the-job deaths in the United States every year since 1992. In 2007 alone, 835 deaths resulted from motor vehicle crashes in U.S. road construction work zones.
Everyone plays a role in maintaining a safe work zone area during roadway construction. To play your part, follow these tips while driving through a work site:
- Pay attention to the orange diamond-shaped warning signs or electronic message boards posted in advance of a road construction project.
- Stay alert. Dedicate your full attention to driving.
- Minimize distractions. Avoid changing radio stations, using a cell phone, etc. while driving in a work zone.
- Drive carefully and slowly through the construction site; always obey the posted speed limits in the work zone area.
- Pay close attention and heed directions on work zone warning signs. Signs and work zone flaggers save lives.
- Watch for stopped or slowing traffic. Do not tailgate.
- Expect the unexpected. Anticipate potential dangers.
- Watch how the traffic ahead is flowing.
- Keep an eye out for construction workers, their equipment and vehicles, as well as the vehicles around you.
- Use extra caution when driving through a site at night.
- Watch for detours and lane diversions.
- Speed up or slow down significantly while going through a work zone.
- Slow down to look at the construction work being done.
- Resume normal speed until after you emerge completely out of the work zone area.
- Tailgate. Most of the accidents within a work zone are rear-end collisions.
- Change lanes within a work zone.