MnDOT Urges Driver Safety As Part Of National Work Zone Awareness Week
The Minnesota Department of Transportation is encouraging the public to drive safely through highway work zones as a part of National Work Zone Awareness Week from April 8 through April 12.
The week is an annual spring campaign to coincide with the start of road construction season. MnDOT officially kicked off the construction season on April 4, although many construction projects started earlier. The theme for this year’s Work Zone Awareness Week is “Drive Like You Work Here.”
According to a release, more than 200 active work zones are scheduled throughout the state this construction season. A work zone is defined as any area where highway construction, maintenance, or utility work is being done. Work zones are identified by warning signs, signals, barriers, pavement markings, and flaggers.
Each year in the U.S., a work zone crash occurs once every 5.4 minutes, according to the Federal Highway Administration. Every day, 70 work zone crashes occur that result in at least one injury. Every week, 12 work zone crashes occur that result in at least one fatality.
In Minnesota, during the past three years, there were 31 fatalities and 123 serious injuries in work zones.
“Drivers and passengers are more likely to be killed in work zones than workers, but maintenance and construction crew workers have also lost their lives, been injured or had close calls,” said Brian Sorenson, state traffic engineer. “Rear-end crashes are the most common type of work zone crash. Most of these crashes occur because of driver inattention and speeding, both behaviors we can change.”
The National Work Zone Awareness Week observance is in cooperation with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, the Federal Highway Administration and the American Traffic Safety Services Foundation.