Fatal Work Zone Crashes Spike in 2011
ODOT District 11 focuses on teen drivers during National Work Zone Safety Awareness Week
New Philadelphia, Ohio (Monday, April 23, 2012) –With fatal work zone crashes up 70 percent from 2010 to 2011, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) reminds motorists to drive smart and “Don’t Barrel through Work Zones” as part of National Work Zone Safety Awareness Week.
In the first three years of starting to drive a car, 88% of all teenagers have a collision.
ODOT District 11 Deputy Director Lloyd MacAdam said, “As part of our Every Move You Make, Keep It Safe campaign, we are touring area schools and events this week in Holmes, Tuscarawas and Carroll counties with our Distracted Driver Simulator to increase awareness and promote safe driving habits in teens.”
The maze of jersey barriers, traffic cones, flaggers, flashing lights, and orange signs is a scenario that often causes confusion for drivers. Work zones aren’t just dangerous for the workers; they are dangerous for those driving through them each day. This is especially true for new drivers. According to the Federal Highway Administration, a teen driver is killed once every three days in work zone crashes.
“Reducing fatal crashes in work zones begins with motorists,” said ODOT Director Jerry Wray. “The consequences for driving carelessly, especially in work zones, can be deadly for both drivers and workers.”
A 10 year analysis of work zone crashes in Ohio revealed fatal crashes in work zones have decreased until recently. The study showed a 70 percent jump in fatal work zone crashes from 10 in 2010 to 17 in 2011. Further analysis shows of the more than 5,000 work zone crashes annually on Ohio roads, 33 percent are from drivers following too closely.
Wray said, “Although ODOT continues to use new ways to improve work zone safety, the statistics are clear; motorist error is the number one cause of work zone crashes. If drivers give their full attention, obey reduced speed limits and don’t tailgate, we can make work zones safer for everyone.”
Here are some tips to stay safe when driving through work zones:
Avoid distractions, such as changing radio stations, using an iPod, texting or talking on a cell phone while driving.
Stay alert in work zones. Keep an eye out for workers and equipment.
Don’t tailgate. Keep a safe distance between your car and the car in front of you.
Don’t change lanes to get through traffic faster.
Follow posted speed limits in and around work zones; do not speed.
“We can’t do it alone. Safety is everyone’s business. Remember, Don’t Barrel through Work Zones,” said Wray.