The 14th annual National Work Zone Awareness Week April is this week, April 15th through 19th. Sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the week aims to raise awareness of work zone safety issues, for workers and motorists alike. The FHWA has a library of useful information regarding work zone safety. Below is a list of a few of the most common dangers and what you can do to prevent them.
Primary Work Zone Dangers
- Confused or distracted motorists traveling in work areas (Most injuries and deaths in work zones are caused by rear-end collisions.)
- Inattentive drivers who are not prepared for sudden slow downs and last-minute lane changes in work zones
- Roadway workers in close proximity to large construction equipment and fast-moving traffic
- Flaggers stationed in low visibility areas
- Heavy equipment operators working with potentially hazardous machinery
What You Can Do?
- Pay attention to construction signs for roadway construction zones, and follow the instructions of flaggers and/or signage.
- Adhere to the posted speed limits.
- Merge as soon as possible.
- Stay alert! Minimize distractions in and around construction zones, whether you are driving through, or working within those areas.
- Expect the unexpected, and be on the lookout for unforeseen dangers. Expect delays, plan for them and leave early or use an alternate route if one is available.
- Use extra caution in work zones at night. Watch out for reflective objects.
Everyone is responsible for maintaining the integrity and safety of roadway work zones. Not only does safety impact the bottom line of projects, but it also impacts the quality of life of those who work on them. Whether you are a motorist or highway worker, be smart and be safe.