PHOENIX – Give’em a brake, Arizona.
That’s the message the Arizona Department of Transportation is sending to drivers during National Work Zone Awareness Week. Through April 7, ADOT will join federal, state and local transportation organizations across the country to bring attention to the importance of being alert when driving in work zones.
Throughout this week on social media, ADOT will share personal stories about work zone safety from ADOT employees who work alongside speeding vehicles while building and maintaining Arizona’s highways. Motorists will see work zone awareness safety messages on overhead signs, too.
“Safety is the No. 1 priority at ADOT,” ADOT Director John Halikowski said. “When it comes to work zones, where vehicles can speed by just inches away, there are very few more dangerous places to spend a workday. We rely on motorists to pay attention when entering work zones, not only for the safety of our crews, but for drivers and passengers, too.”
According to the Federal Highway Administration, drivers and passengers accounted for 82 percent of work zone fatalities nationally in 2014, the most recent year with complete data. According to preliminary data for 2016, Arizona had seven fatal crashes in work zones, resulting in seven deaths, and 27 serious-injury crashes.
To protect motorists and those who build and maintain Arizona’s highways, follow these tips when traveling through work zones:
- Pay attention: Observe and obey posted warning signs, as well as flaggers. You can be cited for disobeying a flagger’s directions.
- Expect the unexpected: Speed limits might be lowered, travel lanes could be narrowed or eliminated and people may be working near your travel lane.
- Slow down: Speeding is one of the leading causes of work zone crashes.
- Merge safely: Do it early and carefully or as directed by signage instead of barging into a line of vehicles at the last moment.
- Don’t tailgate: The most common crash in a work zone is the rear-end collision. Don’t follow too closely and, again, slow your speed.
For more information about work zone safety, visit azdot.gov/workzone.