CHARLOTTE, N.C. (April 3, 2017) – Today marks the start of National Work Zone Awareness Week and AAA urges motorists to use caution and drive safely when approaching and driving through work zones as most people injured or killed in work zone crashes – approximately four out of every five – are drivers or passengers.
In 2016, 26 people (24 travelers and two workers) died in North Carolina work zones. Across North Carolina, there were 5,831 work zone crashes in 2016. Speeding and distracted driving accounted for more than 50 percent of all work zone crashes in the state. In South Carolina, there have been 55 work zone crashes already this year.
“Motorists should prepare for and expect sudden changes in driving conditions when approaching designated work zone areas,” said AAA Carolinas President and CEO Dave Parsons. “Work zone crashes can be prevented if motorists slow down and stay alert.”
As the summer driving and peak road construction seasons approach, motorists in many parts of the country can expect increased levels of construction activity and may encounter greater numbers of work zone areas.
AAA offers the following work zone safety tips to motorists:
Plan Ahead – Motorists are encouraged to check for planned work zone delays and traffic advisories and allot extra travel time prior to departing for their trip. Free to all travelers, the AAA TripTik® Travel Planner online mapping tool, available at AAA.com, provides motorists with the latest road construction and traffic congestion information so motorists can plan alternative travel routes to their destinations.
Remain Alert – Motorists should obey the directions of any police officer, firefighter or road crew flagger and follow all posted work zone advisories and signage. Temporary work zone signs are orange and commonly diamond-shaped. As with any driving situation, minimize interior and exterior distractions. Construction zones may contain unusual vehicles or machinery that can divert a driver’s attention. Drivers should be prepared to stop, slow down, shift lanes and yield to the movement of construction workers and equipment. Motorists should not turn off their vehicles when stopped on the roadway unless they will be idling for a significant period of time.
Reduce Speed – For the safety of all drivers and construction workers, normal posted speed limits are often reduced in work zones. Most states double fines for speeding in work zones when workers are present. Motorists, while keeping consistent with the flow of traffic, should maintain a safe distance between vehicles ahead, traffic barriers, construction workers and equipment.
AAA Carolinas, an affiliate of the American Automobile Association, is a not-for-profit organization that serves more than 2 million members and the public with travel, automobile and insurance services while being an advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.
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