To encourage drivers to slow down and pay attention in roadway work zones, the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) is urging drivers to slow down, put down their phone, and WatchForUs. The distracted driving campaign kicks off during National Work Zone Awareness Week 2019, April 8‒12.
Building and maintaining roads can be a dangerous business. Companies invest a great deal of time, effort, and training, to control potential risks within the work zone, which often is positioned next to active traffic lanes. However, it just takes a momentary distraction for a car or truck to cross into a work zone, causing a possibly fatal accident. Every year, more than 700 people are killed in this sort of work zone accident.
To highlight the dangers faced, NAPA asked attendees of the World of Asphalt Show & Conference to share their experiences with distracted drivers entering a work zone. Unfortunately, there were many harrowing stories of accidents and injuries for people to share. These stories were compiled into a new video, “Work Zone Safety Is Your Responsibility Too” (view below).
The film is supported by the www.WatchFor.Us website, which includes additional video testimonials from road builders about real-life consequences of distracted drivers and work zone accidents, as well as the award-winning short film “A Moment Can Save a Life,” which dramatizes the lifelong effects a work zone accident can have on a family.
“When you’re working next to moving traffic, the potential for injury is obvious; but drivers don’t experience that sense of danger as they drive past us,” said 2019 NAPA Chairman John Harper, Senior Vice President of Construction Partners Inc. in Dothan, Alabama. “Drivers need to slow down and heed the WatchForUs message, because it only takes a moment of distraction for a tragic accident to occur.”
In its 2017 Traffic Safety Culture Index survey, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that about 84 percent of drivers report regularly seeing other drivers using a cellphone for texting while driving. The same survey found that distracted driving is the greatest hazard on the road today.
NAPA encourages its members, partners, and everyone in the road construction industry to join in calling on the public to slow down, pay attention, and WatchForUs when driving near work zones.