National Work Zone Awareness Week is focusing on distracted driving and road construction work zones in an attempt to reduce the number of car accidents and truck crashes that occur in work zones across Washington State. Read about how you, as a driver, can prevent road work zone car accidents and car accident injuries.

Work Zone Safety On Washington State Roads: Be Alert!

Being a construction worker is one of the most dangerous jobs in the United States. In many cases, construction workers aren’t injured in falls or by equipment, they are injured in traffic accidents that occur when they are working on or near a roadway. April 19-26 is National Work Zone Awareness Week – an ideal time to increase awareness of construction workers on our Interstates and highway and to reduce the overall number of Washington State car accidents that involve construction sites and construction site employees.

Almost 1,000 people each year around the country die in work zone car accidents – and often both the occupants of the car and the worker are injured. It is important to understand that being aware and cautious in a work zone doesn’t just protect construction workers – it protects you and your family.

The theme for this year’s National Work Zone Awareness Week is “Work Zones Need Your Undivided Attention.” With the recent link between car accidents, text messaging, smart phones, and distracted driving, it’s a timely theme. Here are a few more times on how to prevent work zone accidents:

•    Understand that it takes 300 feet to fully stop your vehicle in ideal conditions when traveling 50 miles per hour. It takes even longer to stop your vehicle in rain, snow, or ice.
•    Follow the directions of any road workers who are directing traffic.
•    Obey the posted construction site speed limits. Even though these limits are lower than you are used to driving on the highway or interstate, they are posted for a reason.
•    Pay attention to your lane and your surroundings – the construction site may involve merging lanes or shifting lanes.
•    Don’t change lanes when lanes are separated by solid white lines.
•    Understand that you are literally driving through someone’s work space.
•    Be on the lookout for workers both in vehicles on the shoulder and on foot.
•    Minimize distractions, including cell phones, loud music, food, maps, and any other activity that could take your eyes or mind off of the road.