National Work Zone Awareness Week: Pay Attention, Drive Safely and Use Extra Caution Around Work Zones
Monday, April 11 through Friday, April 15 is National Work Zone Awareness Week. National Work Zone Awareness Week is the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration’s (FHA) campaign to encourage people to pay attention, drive safely and use extra caution in work zones. Each year, according to the FHA, approximately 600 people are killed in work zone accidents throughout the country, and many more are injured. The National Work Zone Awareness Week campaign is held at the beginning of construction season each year to remind the public that by slowing down, observing posted construction advisories, and remaining alert for changing driving patterns, they can keep themselves, their passengers and roadway construction workers safe in work zones.
This year’s National Work Zone Awareness Week theme is: ‘Don’t Be THAT Driver: Work on Safety. Get Home Safely. Every day.’ The theme emphasizes the importance of heightened awareness for those traveling in and around work zones. Studies have shown that motorists who are distracted from their primary task of driving due to eating, using a mobile device, or otherwise are up to 4 times more likely to be involved in a collision - 3 primary types of distraction include:
- Visual – taking your eyes off the road
- Manual – taking your hands off the wheel
- Cognitive – taking your mind off what you are doing
Wednesday, April 13, is Go Orange Day. On Wednesday, roadwork safety professionals across the country are encouraged to wear orange in support of work zone safety and those working to improve our streets and roadways.
Metro is lighting the Korean Veterans Memorial Bridge, Deaderick Street, and the Metropolitan Historic Courthouse orange in observance of this campaign and as a reminder to the public of the importance of heightened alert for the safety of all when traveling through or near a work zone. The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) is also participating in this campaign with multiple awareness initiatives.
When traveling in and around work zones, remember the following to keep yourself, those traveling with you and the workers safe:
- Slow down when approaching work zones!
- Pay Attention! Drivers have to be aware of their surroundings, especially when trucks, people, and/or equipment are moving in and out of active work zones.
- Avoid distractions!