Senator Martin Malavé Dilan (D-Brooklyn) is reminding all motorists to help keep themselves and others safe in work zones during Work Zone Awareness Week , which will be observed nationwide until Friday, April 23.
In 2008, 720 workers and motorists were killed in highway work zones nationwide, and more than 40,000 were injured. Last year in New York, there were 511 traffic crashes in construction and maintenance work zones, which resulted in 12 deaths and 173 injuries, according to the New York State Department of Transportation.
“The majority of those who are killed in work zones are drivers or their passengers,” said Senator Dilan, chair of the Senate Transportation Committee. “To ensure the safety of both motorists and workers, it is important to take every precaution to prevent more of these unfortunate accidents.”
Drivers are reminded that workers often have their backs turned to traffic and can’t hear approaching vehicles above the loud machinery they operate.
“Across the United States, there is one work zone-related fatality every 10 hours and one work zone-related injury every 13 minutes,” said Senator Dilan. “Please take the time to follow some simple guidelines to ensure your safety and that of others in a work zone.”
To help reduce the risk of death or injury in a work zone, traffic safety experts suggest you take the time to read and understand all work zone signs, obey flaggers guiding traffic and obey posted speed limits. Because rear-end collisions are the most common crash in highway work zones, you should maintain a safe distance between your vehicle and the car in front of you, in addition to traffic barriers, trucks and construction equipment and workers.
Do not use your cell phone or text while driving, and stay alert for lane or road surface changes. Remember to keep calm and be patient as workers improve the condition of the road.
Work Zone Awareness Week kicked off April 19 in New York at an event in Battery Park and will be observed nationwide until April 23.