March 23rd-27th is National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW), five days dedicated to preventing work zone fatalities by encouraging safe driving through highway work zones and construction sites. Since its launch in 2000, this campaign has significantly reduced work-related fatalities, and this year’s theme is the exact same theme used fifteen years ago at its beginning — “Expect the Unexpected.”
Although this campaign has had much success, we still suffer numerous losses each year due to work zone accidents. We want to honor this special week by spreading the word of the importance of driving safely and slowly through work zones. Here are five helpful tips for safe driving and avoiding crashes in these areas:
1. Expect the unexpected: Regular speed limits may be reduced, traffic lanes may be changed, and people may be working on or near the road. Pay attention to your surroundings.
2. Slow down: Speeding is one of the major causes of work zone crashes. Drive at a slow pace while in work zones.
3. Don’t tailgate: Keep a safe distance between you and the car ahead of you. The most common crash in a highway work zone is the rear-end collision.
4. Stay alert and minimize distractions: Dedicate your full attention to the roadway and avoid the use of cell phones or changing radio stations while driving in a work zone.
5. Be patient and stay calm: Remember, the work zone crew members are working to improve the road and make your future drive better.
In honor of National Work Zone Awareness Week, we want to reach as many as possible by making them aware of the importance of driving safely and slowly through work zones. Please help us spread the word so we can make these areas safer together. In the unfortunate even that a work zone injury should occur, you know who to call.