Spring is here, and so is the unofficial start of construction season. Throughout Arizona and across the country, road improvement projects will be underway, and even though we can all feel at times that construction gets in our way, it’s important that we all do our part to ensure everyone’s well-being on the roads.
So that drivers and workers can stay safe during months when construction zones are at their peak, April 26-30 has been designated as National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW).
Here’s what you can do to help make work zones safer and help save lives.
#1 Know these stay-safe statistics.
- More than 700 people are killed annually in work zone accidents.
- That number includes more than 100 workers.
- More than 40,000 people are injured in work zone crashes every year.
- In 2018, there were 123,000 crashes in work zones.
- In 2019, 842 fatalities were the result of 762 crashes in work zones.
- Four out of five people killed in work zones are drivers, not workers.
- Rear-end collisions are the most likely type of crash in a work zone.
- The majority of work zone crashes occur during the day.
#2 Know your responsibilities when driving through work zones.
- Slow down to the posted speed limit and drive with extra caution in work zones.
- Watch for orange signs, cones, and barrels, as well as workers wearing orange vests and hats.
- Follow the directions of the worker or flagger directing traffic and all posted signs.
- Maintain a safe following distance.
- Check routes online ahead of your departure, so you can anticipate the extra traffic and slower speeds that accompany driving in construction zones.
- Plan extra time to get to your destination and find an alternative route if possible.
- Merge early to help traffic flow more efficiently and to minimize chance of a crash.
#3 Stay calm and alert.
Even if you’re late or didn’t anticipate the construction, try not to let it rattle you. Watch for the workers who will be working just inches from your moving vehicle and drive safely to save lives.
Would you like to learn more about what you can do to stay safe driving on city streets and state highways, especially in tricky driving conditions? Stop and Go Driving School has a number of courses for drivers of all ages and levels. Contact us to learn more and to schedule a lesson.