Drive Smart, Do Your Part to Save Lives in North Carolina's Roadway Work Zones

April is Work Zone Awareness Month in North Carolina, April 9-13 is Work Zone Awareness Week

Drive Smart, Do Your Part to Save Lives in North Carolina's Roadway Work Zones
Image: Pixabay
April 12, 2018

Warmer spring weather means that drivers will see more transportation workers on roads and highways statewide as a new construction season begins. To remind everyone to do their part to keep North Carolina's work zones safe, Governor Roy Cooper proclaimed April as Work Zone Awareness Month and April 9-13, 2018 as Work Zone Awareness Week.

A Team Effort to Save Lives

This spring, the NC Department of Transportation (NCDOT), the NC Governor's Highway Safety Program, and the State Highway Patrol are teaming up for a safety campaign that coincides with an increase in highway construction or maintenance projects.

"Distracted driving is very dangerous on our highways and in our work zones," said Steve Schroeder, a project inspector for NCDOT in Division 6. "And please slow down. It's not worth the risk."

More Than 7,200 Crashes and 38 Work Zone deaths in 2017

NCDOT says that there are more than 600 active work zones across the state—this includes utility and road maintenance sites. In 2017 there were more than 7,200 crashes and 38 deaths in work zones statewide. About 10 to 15 percent of fatalities in work areas are workers or pedestrians.

"We ask that you think about the workers and their families as you travel through work zones," said Giovanny Morales, Environmental, Safety and Health Manager at S.T. Wooten, an NCDOT contractor. "Please, slow down and pay attention. Our lives and our futures are in your hands."

Things to Keep in MInd in Work Zones

NCDOT reminds drivers to follow these tips to keep work zones safe:

  • Pay close attention to signs and work zone flaggers.
  • Watch out for road debris.
  • Turn on your headlights so workers and other motorists can see you.
  • Do not tailgate.
  • Obey the posted speed limits in and around a work zone.
  • Do not change lanes in a work zone.
  • Minimize distractions: Avoid changing radio stations and using mobile phones while driving in a work zone.
  • Expect the unexpected: Keep an eye out for workers and their equipment.
  • When possible, use alternate routes to avoid traffic congestion.
  • Leave early to get a head start on your drive and travel at non-peak times.

To learn more about work zone safety in North Carolina, visit the NCDOT Work Zone Safety Program's website.