This is National Work Zone Awareness Week, where efforts are made around the country to bring attention to the very real dangers that exist for workers who do their jobs by working on American roadways in work zones.
“As highway construction shifts into high gear, we’re asking all Americans to take roadway safety seriously and protect themselves and their passengers by paying attention and slowing down when driving through work zones,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “In April and year round, the men and women working to improve our nation’s highways and bridges deserve to do their work safely.”
Here’s a short video explaining the seriousness of this work danger from the Illinois Department of Transportation:
This week, the federal government announced 2013 National Work Zone Awareness week with a news release from U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood that included the following information:
- In 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.
- 4 out of 5 victims in work zone crashes are actually drivers and their passengers, not the worker on the work zone.
- Today, in a typical 5 day work week, an average of 7 motorists and 1 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.
It’s important to respect the dangers inherent in traveling through any work zone, but particularly those on our local roads especially in bad weather conditions. Personal injuries and wrongful deaths in work zone crashes involving both workers as well as drivers and passengers moving through the work zone are tragedies that campaigns like this one are trying to prevent. Be careful out there.