At Carolina Traffic Devices, protecting roadside work crews and motorists is our top priority. The tragic reality is that 773 people on average die each year in work zone crashes. That’s why we recognize the importance of National Work Zone Awareness Week, which takes place between April 26 and 30.
National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW) is an annual campaign held each spring at the start of construction season. The purpose of the campaign is to encourage safe driving through highway work zones, reminding motorists to use extra caution when roadside workers are nearby. NWZAW is hosted by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), and this year’s theme is “Drive Safe. Work Safe. Save Lives.”
NWZAW was started in response to the alarming number of accidents that occur in and nearby highway work zones. These accidents typically occur as a result of improper following distance, distraction or inattention, and failure to “lean and look” into the blind spot before changing lanes. Rear-end crashes (in which one motorist runs into the back of a slowing or stopped vehicle) are the most common type of work zone crash, and most collisions take place on roads where the speed limit is above 50 miles per hour.
Many motorists feel extra nervous in and around work zones, and for good reason—they require extra caution. But thankfully, it’s easy to stay safe while passing roadside crews by following a few simple guidelines for work zone safety.
First, be sure to maintain a safe following distance behind other motorists. In 50 to 55 mph zones, follow the “six-second rule”: you should have at least six seconds to react to the car in front of you. Second, use the “lean and look” method to check your blind spot before changing or merging lanes. Lastly, avoid any driving distractions, including texting, talking on the phone, or snacking, in work zones.
While the issue of work zone safety is a serious one, the good news is that we can solve it together. Many roadside accidents are preventable and happen as a result of distracted or risky driving. By keeping in mind basic rules of road safety and using extra caution in work zones, we can greatly reduce the number of fatalities that happen each year as a result of these collisions.
“We are proud to be an industry leader in keeping our nation’s roadways safe through more effective work zone safety management,” said Carolina Traffic Devices Founder, William Curtin. “Our goal is and always has been to help our roadway project managers in the Carolinas, Georgia, and Virginia in their efforts to reduce work zone fatalities to zero. From more traditional devices like temporary concrete barriers that protect workers, to our latest technology- the “Smart Work Zone”, which protects motorists from end-of-queue collisions, we are helping these markets grow and repair their road infrastructure safely.”
If you’d like to show your support for National Work Zone Awareness Week, you can spread the word about work zone safety using the hashtag #NWZAW. There will also be a livestreamed kickoff event at 11 a.m. ET on April 27 hosted by the Michigan Department of Transportation.
Don’t forget to use extra caution when driving through highway work zones. Happy National Work Zone Awareness Week from Carolina Traffic Devices!