TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA – April 1, 2011 -
During Work Zone Safety Awareness Week, Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) officials remind motorists to drive carefully in construction zones. The national campaign, held April 4-8, is conducted annually at the start of road construction season.
Drivers and their passengers account for most of the deaths in construction zone crashes, according to FDOT statistics. Improving safety in construction zones includes encouraging drivers to follow the posted speed, minimize distractions and be alert.
In 2009, the most recent statistics available, 97 people were killed and 6,305 people were injured in Florida work zone crashes. For the second year in a row, the number of annual deaths has dropped below 100.
“Staying alert and focused are always critical to safe driving, particularly in and around work zones,” said Ananth Prasad, FDOT Assistant Secretary for Engineering and Operations.
Outreach efforts during the week include public service announcements, information displays and message boards at rest areas and welcome centers to educate motorists about work zone safety.
FDOT urges motorists of all ages to drive safely in work zones by following these safety tips:
1. Be alert: Expect anything to occur when entering a work zone.
2. Don’t tailgate: Unexpected stops frequently occur in work zones.
3. Don’t speed: Note the suggested speed limits in and around the work zones.
4. Don’t change lanes in the work zone: Any time saved just isn’t worth the chance.
5. Minimize distractions: Avoid changing the radio station and using cellular phones while driving in the work zone.
6. Expect the unexpected: Keep an eye out for workers and their equipment.
For more information and resources to help spread the word about Work Zone Safety Awareness Week, please visit www.itseveryonesjob.com