Fatal Work Zone Crashes Spike in 2011
ODOT & CSU highlight safe driving in work zones
CLEVELAND (Monday, April 23, 2012) – With fatal work zone crashes up 70 percent from 2010 to 2011, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and Cleveland State University want to remind motorists to drive smart and “Don’t Barrel through Work Zones” on the first day of National Work Zone Safety Awareness Week 2012.
At today’s Work Zone Safety Awareness Week Kick-off Rally, ODOT and CSU were joined by state representatives, industry insiders, local labor leaders and technology experts to discuss the importance of safety on the job and behind the wheel – as well as new “smart phone” technology for motorists entering work zones.
Reducing fatal crashes in work zones begins with motorists. The consequences for driving carelessly, especially in work zones, can be deadly for both drivers and workers.
A ten 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.
Today, Virtus Ventures Co-Founder Matt Shields unveiled a new smart phone application modeled after an idea by the Cleveland State University Transportation Center. “All the motorist has to do is download the app,” said Shields. “Once the app is on the phone, it will audibly announce that they are approaching a work zone.”
The objective of the app is to increase safety for motorists and highway workers by automatically sending drivers an alert when the vehicle enters a construction zone. The alert may be heard over the vehicle’s sound system or driver’s smart phone speaker.
“This app will give motorists an advanced warning they can’t ignore,” said Dr. Stephen Duffy, Cleveland State University Transportation Center Director. “We want to keep motorists safe as well as the men and women working in the construction zones.”
The alert will inform the driver that they are entering an “active” work zone and that speed limits will be strictly enforced. The system may be enhanced to include Adam and Amber alerts, traffic updates and law enforcement protection.
In recent years, ODOT has also been working to make work zones safer by increasing visibility of vehicles, making near real-time safety enhancements to existing work zones and improving work zone access for heavy equipment.
For more information contact:
or email D12.PublicInformation@dot.state.oh.us
The ODOT District 12 Communications Office at (216) 584-2005