Despite signs, message boards, flashing lights, flagmen, safety barrels and barriers and other safety measures alerting motorists of a change in normal driving patterns, there were more than 87,000 crashes in work zones in 2010, the latest figures provided by the Federal Highway Administration.
To make motorists more aware of the dangers of being un-attentive – especially in these set aside safe zones – the 2012 National Work Zone Awareness Week will be observed April 23-27.
This annual awareness program is working, as evidenced by statistics compiled by The National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse (www.workzonesafety.org). While there have been more than 230 fatalities occurring in Ohio work zones since 2000, the annual work zone fatality rate of 19.3 has decreased 32 percent, to 13.2, in the past five years. There were 17 work zone fatalities inOhio in 2011.
The Ohio Construction Information Association urges motorists to follow these 10 work zone safety tips:
- Stay alert. Give your attention to the road.
- Pay close attention. Signs and work zone flaggers save lives.
- Turn on your headlights. Workers and other motorists must see you.
- Don’t tailgate.
- Don’t speed. Note the posted speed limits in and around the work zone.
- Keep up with the traffic flow.
- Don’t change lanes.
- Minimize distractions. Avoid changing radio stations and using a mobile phone while driving in the work zone.
- Expect the unexpected. Keep an eye out for workers and their equipment.
- Be patient. Work zone crews are working to improve your future ride.