Here in the USA, it’s Workzone Awareness Week. Does that Make You Think ‘So What?’

This morning, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (a.k.a. NHTSA but pronounce it as “NiTSA“) publicized the fact that it is Workzone Awareness Week.

Photograph of a highway construction zone.
A Highway Construction Zone. (Copyright image.)

There can be no doubt that this is an important issue because, for example, in 2014 (the most-recent, detailed figures available), no fewer than 669 people were killed in construction zone  incidents.

The fact that driving in work zones carries more risk than driving in areas without work zones is well illustrated by this statement: “If fatalities occurred in work zone crashes at the same rate as non-work zone crashes, that would mean a total of 164 lives saved in 2015.”

Perhaps the biggest surprise in the data is that which shows the proportion of those killed who are construction zone workers as opposed to being the drivers or passengers in vehicles passing through…. If you think you know the answer, check it out!

Apart from the years that are referred to in the article, it is sadly very obvious that it is now significantly out-of-date.  In particular, the statement: “while highway fatalities are declining overall…” is now severely behind the times because 2015 and 2016 saw major increases in U.S. road deaths, and it would be good the relevant branches of federal and state governments brought their web sites up to date so that readers are not misled by inaccurate information.

For anyone with concerns or a professional interest in construction zone safety, the Federal Highway Administration [FHWA] has a page of detailed statistics, unsurprisingly titled Work Zone Safety.


Author: EddieWren

Eddie Wren is the CEO and Chief Instructor at Advanced Drivers of North America. His driver safety background is given at:

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