National Work Zone Awareness Week, scheduled for April 9–13, is a week-long event held at the start of the spring construction season to encourage safe driving through highway work zones. This year’s theme is Work Zone Safety: Everybody’s Responsibility.
According to the Federal Highway Administration, daily changes in traffic patterns, narrowed rights-of-way, and other construction activities often create a combination of factors resulting in crashes, injuries, and fatalities. These crashes also cause excessive delays, especially given the constrained driving environment.
Work zone incidents impact everyone. UniFirst recognizes the importance of keeping work zones safe and offers a selection of safety-rated, High Visibility and Enhanced Visibility Apparel that can help keep workers safe and businesses compliant with federal and other safety standards.
Motorists can also do their part in helping keep work zones safe by following some helpful tips from the Federal Highway Association for driving safely in and around work zones.
- Know before you go. Check your phone apps, agency websites, and the radio for the latest traffic information to ensure a safe and timely trip.
- Wear your seatbelt. It is your best defense in a crash.
- Expect the unexpected. Work zones change often; the area you drove through yesterday may look different today.
- Avoid distractions. Distracted driving in a work zone can have deadly consequences. Put down your phone and keep your eyes on the road.
- Pay attention to other drivers. Narrowed traffic patterns provide less ability to maneuver around other vehicles safely. Paying attention can prevent the need for evasive actions in work zones.
- Don’t speed or tailgate. Keep a safe distance from the vehicle ahead of you and don’t speed. Tailgating and speeding lead to crashes with other vehicles and field workers.
- Obey road crews and signs. Flaggers know how best to move traffic safely in work zones; the warning signs are there to help you and other drivers move safely.
- Be patient and stay calm. Work zone crew members are working to improve the road and make your future drive better.
Further reading: National Work Zone Awareness Week, US Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration