There is no mistaking the cones, barrels and barriers dotting our roadways. It is the awakening of Spring, bringing us brightly refreshed, striped roadways and blooming orange signs of construction. However, with the emergence of construction comes the threat of work zone collisions.
Distracted and inattentive driving remains one of the top causes of crashes in Washington work zones. The construction and traffic safety crews working to improve your highways work just feet from live traffic and inattentive drivers. Just because you do not see the workers immediately after you see the warning sign does not mean they are not out there. It is not just about the safety of the workers who face work zone dangers, but 94.4% of people hurt in work zone collisions are the motorists, their passengers or passing pedestrians.
Work Zone Collisions by County
In the five counties that Stripe Rite operates within, Pierce County had 496 reported collisions within a work zone or caused by backup from a work zone in 2020. Spokane County had 66 collisions. Kitsap and Benton counties both had 23 to Yakima County’s 15 collisions. Washington averages 680 roadway work zone injuries each year. In 2020, there were 7 fatal work zone crashes on state roads in Washington.
The WSDOT campaign to “Give ‘em a Break” is the state’s marketing effort to encourage safe driving. Here are some helpful work zone survival tips:
- Slow down, pay attention, and stay calm.
- Eliminate distractions.
- Merge as soon as possible.
- Try an alternate route.
- Expect delays, plan for them, and leave early to reach your destination on time.
- Observe the posted signs until you see the one that says, “End Road Work.”
Together we can make the 2021 construction season go smoothly without an increase in work zone fatalities. With both our line striping and traffic control crews working just a few yards from live traffic, let us try to remember to “Give ‘em a Break” by slowing down and paying attention while driving in work zones.