What’s happening on the nation’s roadways should always have the full attention of motorists, but it’s even more critical as drivers approach and pass through construction work zones, the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) says.
Paying attention to signs, maintaining safe following distances, signaling intentions and “expecting the unexpected,” are keys to preventing work zone crashes that kill and injure drivers, passengers, pedestrians and workers.
Over the past five years, over 3,300 people — including an estimated 650 workers — have been killed nationally in work zone crashes, with distracted driving blamed directly for at least 500 of the deaths, according to government data. More than 35,000 people annually are injured at these work sites.
As part of the 19th annual National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW), April 9-13, ARTBA Foundation-managed National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse (www.workzonesafety.org) has produced a free brochure providing tips for safely navigating work zones.
The theme for the 2018 NWZAW is “Work Zone Safety: Everybody’s Responsibility.” An official kickoff was held April 10 at the Jane Byrne Interchange reconstruction project in Chicago. Mark Barkowski, chairman of ARTBA state chapter affiliate, the Illinois Road & Transportation Builders Association, represented the ARTBA Foundation at the event.
Wednesday, April 11, is “Go Orange Day,” when transportation professionals and others across the nation are urged to wear orange to show their support for work zone safety. Help spread this important message by taking a selfie or group photo and posting it to social media using the hashtags: #Orange4Safety or #OrangeForSafety. More information can be found on the NWZAW website.
The National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse, now in its 21st year, handles more than 200,000 requests annually. It provides users with information on: accident and crash data, flagging, emerging technologies and equipment, best practices, key safety experts, laws and regulations, safety standards, research publications, training videos and programs, and successful public education campaigns. Materials are available in Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, French, Russian, and Arabic.