Everyone deserves to get home safely. That’s why the Ada County Highway District is proud to participate in National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW), an annual spring campaign held at the start of construction season encouraging safe driving through highway work zones.
This year’s theme is “Drive Safe. Work Safe. Save Lives.”
Statistics from the National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse show there were 762 fatal crashes in work zones resulting in 842 deaths in 2019 in the United States. Four of those fatal crashes in work zones happened in Idaho resulting in six deaths.
Those statistics demonstrate the importance of work zone safety. It is critical for motorists to safely navigate through work zones, so they and roadway workers make it safely home to their families each day.
To protect all road users, including field workers, follow these tips for traveling safely through work zones.
• Know Before You Go. Before heading out, check for the latest traffic conditions along your route. With information on active work zones, you can change your trip, possibly avoiding work zones altogether. Use ACHD’s Road Work in the Area (RITA) to check traffic conditions.
• Stay Alert and Obey the Roadway. Be aware of all activity occurring around you, including paying attention to other drivers and road users. Work zones change daily; pay attention so you can anticipate new traffic patterns. Remember, signs, cones, barrels, and flaggers are there to help maneuver you safely through the work zone.
• Watch for Workers. In 2019, 135 workers were killed in highway work zones across the United States.
• Watch for Sudden Stops. Work zone activity often leads to congestion, delays, and traffic queues. Be alert and watch for sudden stops. In 2019, nearly one quarter of all fatal work zone crashes involved rear-end collisions.
• Slow Down. Speeding can lead to crashes with other vehicles and with field workers. Make sure to obey posted work zone speed limits and keep a safe distance from the vehicle ahead of you.
• Use Caution Around Large Vehicles. Large vehicles have a slower reaction time, so refrain from making sudden lane changes in front of trucks or buses that are trying to slow down.
• Keep Everyone Safe. Be respectful of workers, fellow drivers, and all road users.
Follow ACHD for more safety tips and information on construction projects on social media.