Highway Work Zone Safety Awareness
Every spring in the U.S. we observe National Work Zone Awareness Week. Since 2000, when the first national event was held in Springfield, Virginia, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA) have worked together to bring awareness to motorists about highway and road worker safety. Many other national, state and local agencies participate in events countrywide.
A work zone is an area on our roads and highways where construction is taking place. It can involve reduced speed limits, detours, large equipment and lane closures. Road improvements and construction are conducted most often during the warmer months of spring and summer. That means that as Americans take to the road for vacation and as young drivers are out of school for the summer, there is an increased risk to the road workers as well as those drivers.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, three fatalities occur each day in highway construction areas. The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports 61,000 injuries from work zone crashes in 2016. Work zone tragedies don’t only affect workers. Four out of five work zone deaths are drivers or passengers. By being aware, alert and cautious, every motorist can help prevent work zone accidents.
Work Zone Safe Driving Tips
Below are some tips from the California Department of Transportation when navigating highway work zones.
- Do not speed in work zones; obey the posted work zone speed limits.
- Expect the unexpected and stay alert.
- Drive carefully, always watching for workers.
- Don’t change lanes unnecessarily.
- Stay off the phone.
- Turn on headlights so that workers and other drivers can see you.
- Be especially alert at night while driving in work zones.
- Expect delays, especially during peak travel times.
- Allow ample space between you and the car in front of you.
- Anticipate lane shifts, and merge when directed to do so.
- Be Patient!
If you someone you know has suffered injury from a work zone related crash, contact The Personal Injury Department at The Law Offices of Young Wooldridge, LLP. A personal injury lawyer at The Law Offices of Young Wooldridge, LLP can inform you of legal options you may not know you have.