2016 Natl

Photo: Federal Highway Administration

‘Don’t Be That Driver!’ is theme for 2016 National Work Zone Awareness Week

April 5, 2016

Washington – If you spend time behind the wheel, you’ve probably witnessed the unsafe actions of “that driver.” Instead of focusing on the road, “that driver” is distracted by something else. Maybe he or she is texting, or trying to unwrap a taco, or grooming – all while traveling in a 4,000-pound vehicle that can inflict serious harm.

The Federal Highway Administration has made “Don’t Be That Driver!” the theme of the 2016 National Work Zone Awareness Week, scheduled for April 11-15.

Distracted driving puts everyone on the road at risk – including roadway workers. According to FHWA, distracted driving was a factor in 16 percent of fatal crashes in work zones in 2014. During the same year – the most recent year for which data is available – 116 workers were killed in work zones, which represented a 9 percent increase from one year earlier. The total number of work zone fatalities, including drivers and other occupants, increased 13 percent from 2013 to 2014.

Since 1999, FHWA has partnered with the American Traffic Safety Services Association and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials to promote safety in work zones. Drivers must use extreme caution in work zones, which are active areas that often include moving construction vehicles, flaggers, temporary traffic lanes and other elements that are out of the ordinary.