National Work Zone Safety Awareness Week
Summer begins the peak season for road construction work across America. Road work is a dangerous job. It often takes place at night with low visibility, and drivers are zooming past work sites, often in a hurry or distracted from the road.
In 2017, 799 people were killed in work zone fatalities, including 132 road construction workers. Rear-end collisions are the most common type of work zone crash with speed a contributing factor in 29% of all work zone crashes.
Delays and detours due to road construction can be inconvenient and frustrating. Still, it is everyone’s responsibility to share the road and be considerate.
Since 2000, the National Highway Safety Administration and its partners have teamed up for National Work Zone Safety Awareness Week. The week is designed to highlight road construction zone safety and to encourage safe driving in construction zones.
National Work Zone Safety Awareness Week is April 20-24, 2020, and the theme of the 20th Anniversary week is “Safe work zones for all. Protect workers. Protect road users. We can do it!” The goal of Work Zone Awareness Week is to educate drivers about the need to drive safely around road work zones.
The week kicks off with Work Zone Safety Training Day on Monday, April 20th. On that day, employers and workers are encouraged to pause periodically throughout the day for safety demonstrations, training, and talks. National Go Orange Day is Wednesday, April 22nd. Proudly wear orange to show your support for work zone safety.
The best way for you to support work zone safety is to be aware. Pay attention to the road. Stay off of your phone. Be considerate of workers, other drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians. Obey the rules of the road and posted speed limits. Expect delays, plan your travel around them, and leave 10-15min early to help you remain calm during increased traffic. Take alternate routes to avoid work zones. Keep a safe distance from the cars around you. Watch for sudden stops in traffic. Move over for work crews and emergency vehicles. Be mindful of trucks entering and exiting work zones.
If we all take mindful steps to stay safe and alert on the road, we can make work zones safer for everyone.