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Posted: March 31, 2017
Last modified: March 31, 2017

Every day across Central Florida, roadway workers who build, repair, and maintain our streets, bridges and highways expose themselves to the real-life dangers of working in and around ongoing traffic.

They’re not the only ones facing hazardous conditions, however. Work zones present a number of challenging situations for motorists driving through the complex array of signs, barrels and lane changes.

More than 40,000 people are injured each year as a result of motor vehicle crashes in work zones nationwide. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reports that 99 percent of work zone crashes injure drivers and their passengers, not roadside workers.

The good news is, most crashes in construction zones are preventable. A few minor changes can make sure everyone gets home safely at the end of the day.

Adjust your Speed – Traveling 10 miles per hour above the posted work zone speed limit shaves less than three minutes off a 20-mile trip and carries a minimum fine of $200, plus court fees.

Don’t Tailgate – More than half of all work zone crashes are rear end collisions. Passenger vehicles traveling at 50 mph require 300 feet of stopping distance on dry roads. A loaded tractor-trailer needs 450 feet to come to a complete stop.

Pay Attention – Work zones are changing environments. Travel lanes may be different from the last time you drove through the area. Added distractions like texting and talking on the phone, eating and drinking or adjusting the radio and navigation system divert your attention from the primary task of driving.

Remember when you’re behind the wheel, it is your decision to drive safely.

Show your commitment to keeping yourself and others safe on our roadways by wearing orange on Wednesday April 5, National Go Orange for Safety Day. Share your photos and stories by tagging them with #WhatDrivesYou.