National Work Zone Awareness Week begins Monday
It’s National Work Zone Awareness Week. The week is held to reduce the number of accidents, injuries and fatalities in work zones. The week is held every April before the number of construction projects increase as a reminder to drivers to stay cautious, courteous and focused on the roads.
In Michigan, the Michigan Department of Transportation says there were 4,035 work zone crashes in 2020.
The number one factor that causes work zone crashes is speeding with 37% of fatal work zone crashes where speeding was a factor.
While construction can be a headache for drivers, work zone speed limits exist for a reason.
Mike Miller of Weigand Construction urged drivers to take things slow.
“With the weather turning nicer, there’s the tendency to want to get out and speed a little more, try to get to where your next space is gonna be. Take your time. You’ll get somewhere safe,” said Miller.
Since speed is a major factor in work zone crashes, the Federal Highway Administration recommends drivers to slow down, stay focused and put down the phone.
Drivers should always be alert in work zones and prepare for sudden stops.
Twenty percent of work zone crashes are rear end collisions.
Miller advised that drivers be responsible.
“While those policies and procedures are in place, we ask that they slow down, take their time. Watch for the signs. Watch for the high-vis—cones, barricades, whatever they are. You’ll get there, it might take an extra minute to be safe,” said Miller.
The FHWA recommends drivers to plan ahead and stay up-to-date on construction and traffic conditions so you can plan for extra time or find a new route to reduce traffic near that work zone.