Staying focused on the road during National Work Zone Awareness Week

Local News

DOT reminding motorists to keep safety in mind while traveling through construction zones

HOWARD, Wis. (WFRV) – Even despite a global health pandemic, nothing can stop construction.

The Department of Transportation is reminding motorists to keep safety in mind while traveling through construction zones. It’s part of National Work Zone Awareness Week.

According to the Department of Transportation, more than 700 people were killed in work-zone crashes in 2018. Though workers are often among the victims, reckless driving more often affects those behind the wheel and their passengers. Four out of five work zone fatalities were drivers or passengers.

“It is a dangerous job,” says Paul Fontecchio, Brown County Highway Commissioner. “Everybody comes to work and we want to fix the roads but we also like going home alive at the end of the night and it’s not an understatement.”

According to FHWA Data, crashes happen when drivers speed through work zones or do not pay attention to changing road conditions and drive off the road, run into other vehicles or safety barriers.

“Work zones are always going to be identified with ‘Road Work Ahead’ or ‘Road Closed Ahead,’ then you have a number of signs that will alert you to the fact that you’re coming into it and then you see the drums,” said Fontecchio. “A lot of times we’ll put up an ‘End Road Work’ sign so that tells you you can go back to your normal speed, you’re out of the work zone and you’re out of that area.”

A few things you can do to prevent such crashes:

  • Slow down when approaching a work zone
  • If you see a vehicle on the side of the road, give a lane- it is the law
  • Also, pay attention to the road and keep your distance

Rear-end crashes are extremely common in work zones so maintaining extra space between your vehicle and the one in front of you is good practice at all times.

You can find more work zone safety tips online right here as well as current Wisconsin construction projects in your area online here as well.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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