Posted: April 11, 2016
Last modified: January 19, 2017

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) recognizes April 11-15, 2016, as National Work Zone Awareness Week. In order to raise awareness and educate citizens on work zone safety, FDOT has collaborated with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSVM) and law enforcement partners. Work zones provide unexpected road conditions, and motorists should use extra caution in these areas.

National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW) is an annual spring campaign held at the start of construction season to encourage safe driving through highway work zones. This year’s theme, “Don’t Be THAT Driver! Work on safety. Get home safely. Every Day.” reinforces the message that motorists should be constantly alert and prepared for dynamic changes in and around work zones.

Driver-related factors that affect work zone crashes include speeding, in-vehicle distractions and inattentive or aggressive driving. Nationally, in 2014, distracted driving was a factor in 16 percent of fatal crashes in work zones, while speeding was a factor in 29 percent. Some simple tips for improving safety include: be alert, slow down to posted speeds, avoid distraction, don’t tailgate, and expect the unexpected.

FDOT Secretary Jim Boxold said, “Safety is our top priority, while providing the best infrastructure system in the nation. The department is dedicated to making our roadways safe for all who work in and travel through our work zones. We are proud to partner with law enforcement to ensure safe travel on our highways for Florida’s families and visitors.”

“Construction workers in work zones face many perils in the course of their job, including death from inattentive motorists. Every life matters and remaining focused while driving is critical to ensure safety on our roadways,” said DHSMV Executive Director Terry L. Rhodes. “In 2015, there were more than 6,500 crashes and just under 80 fatalities in work zones. In an effort to save lives, it is vital that motorists take work zones seriously by slowing down and keeping their hands on the wheel, eyes on the road and mind on driving.”