As we approach National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW), which takes place from April 8 to 12, we bring our attention to the millions of workers who tend to emergencies, repair our highways and infrastructure, and enforce the law on roadways throughout the country. These men and women are not only exposed to the elements, but they are also at the mercy of drivers operating vehicles around them.
Efforts among a dozen different agencies, including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Federal Highway Administration, have expanded tremendously since its inception in 1999. What began as the vision of a group of Virginia Department of Transportation employees to raise awareness about work zone accidents, injuries, and fatalities, has grown into a national campaign.
National Work Zone Awareness Week Goals
The goals for this important week-long effort include:
- Creating and promoting a set of standard safety procedures
- Raising awareness for the need to proceed with caution when navigating through work zones
- Promoting best safety training practices among workers in all sectors
- Preparing work zone employees for aggressive driver behaviors in work zones and recommend actions to diffuse negative interactions
- Encouraging partnerships with groups and entities, which are invested in work zone safety
Work Zone Accident Statistics
In 2017, nearly 800 lives were lost in work zone accidents across the country. One hundred and thirty-two of those individuals were working at the time of their accidents. A little less than one-third of these crashes involved large trucks. During the same year, 126 pedestrians were fatally injured in work zone crashes. All these numbers increased from the year before.
As the numbers show, roadside workers are not the only lives at risk in work zones. Drivers, passengers, and pedestrians walking or riding their bikes are also in danger. Depending upon the speed involved and the dynamics of the crash, accident victims can suffer head, neck, and spine injuries, broken bones, and soft tissue damage that may require extensive treatment and recovery.
Preventing Work Zone Accidents
The groups behind National Work Zone Safety Awareness Week ask drivers to remember these basic safety tips to prevent work zone accidents:
- Pay attention to visual alerts, including signage, cones, and equipment denoting that a work zone is ahead.
- Resist the urge to look at your phone, adjust the radio, or anything else that may take your eyes off the road.
- Reduce your speed limit when driving in and around work zones.
- Increase your following distance in work zones.
- Follow the lead of work zone flaggers, signs, and cones re-routing traffic.
The most important rule of thumb when approaching a work zone is to expect the unexpected. With a bit of caution and patience, drivers can ensure that navigating work zone traffic patterns, roadside workers, and equipment and vehicles is done safely for all involved.
Egg Harbor Township Construction Accident Lawyers at the D’Amato Law Firm Help Accident Victims Recover the Compensation They Deserve
Egg Harbor Township construction accident lawyers at the D’Amato Law Firm are dedicated to helping victims recover the compensation they deserve for their preventable injuries. We focus on the practical details of your claim, so you can focus on your recovery. To discuss your situation, call 609-926-3300 or contact us online for a free initial consultation. Located in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, we proudly serve clients in and around Atlantic City and South Jersey.