On average, three fatalities occur each work day in highway construction zones nationwide.

While work zone fatalities have decreased by half over the past 15 years, around 700 highway work zone fatalities occurred in 2015, slightly up from 2014 – but that is 700 too many.

While that finding may be distressing enough, so too are the discoveries that:

  • More than 6,000 work zone car accidents occurred in Ohio in 2015.
  • More than 665 people in the U.S. were killed in work zone car accidents in 2014.
  • Since 2010, the rate of work zone car accidents across the nation has spiked by more than 14 percent.

Commenting on these findings, ODOT Director Jerry Wray has stated:

We really need drivers to pay extra attention when passing through work zones. Even though we do what we can to make them as safe as possible, work zones can be dangerous places. Last year, there were 6,041 work zone crashes resulting in 28 deaths. Drivers need to slow down and be alert, especially in work zones.

Here are some important tips to keep in mind whenever driving by, around or through work zones:

  • Put down the cell phone! Stay focused on the road and the task of driving when passing by or through roadway work zones.
  • Always follow the adjusted speed limits and consider taking it even slower if traffic is denser or weather conditions are adverse.
  • Carefully read the posted signs so you are aware of detours or other traffic changes for that area.
  • Leave plenty of headroom (i.e., don’t tailgate) when driving through work zones.