National Work Zone Awareness Week, April 26-30, is held each spring to raise awareness as roadway work gets into full swing. The goal is to remind everyone to pay attention as they approach and drive through work zones so both motorists and roadway workers remain safe.
“We are all responsible for work zone safety,” said Transportation
Secretary Mike Sandoval. “It is critical for motorists to responsibly
navigate through work zones. Everyone should arrive home safely, including the men and women working to improve our roadways.”
Drivers are urged to take note of reduced speed limits, eliminate
distractions and be watchful for roadway workers and their equipment. This year’s National Work Zone Awareness Week theme is “Drive Safe. Work Safe. Save Lives.”
Go Orange Day takes place Wednesday, April 28. Wear orange to show your support for the men and women who work tirelessly to keep our roads in top condition and to provide support for the families who have lost loved ones in work zone crashes. Take a photo of yourself wearing orange and show your commitment to work zone safety by posting it to Facebook and Twitter with the hashtags #Orange4Safety and #GoOrangeDay.
Motorists may not realize; they are more at risk of injury or death than the construction workers due to speed and distractions. In 2019, the most recent year for which statistics were available, there were 762 fatal crashes in work zones resulting in 842 deaths. In addition, 135 roadway workers were killed in work zones in 2019, according to the National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse. Most people killed in work zone fatalities are motorists, passengers, and pedestrians. Driver inattention
and speed are the biggest factors in work zone crashes.
Tips for Driving Safely in Work Zones:
* Slow Down. Speeding is one of the major causes of work zone crashes.
* Don’t tailgate. Keep a safe distance between you, the car ahead of you, the construction workers, and their equipment.
* Pay attention to the signs.
* Stay alert and minimize distractions. No phones, loud music, makeup, or food.
* Be patient and stay calm.
* Check the New Mexico Department of Transportation web site for information on work zone delays throughout the state at:
http://www.nmroads.com/, or call 1-800-432-4269.)