The Ohio Department of Transportation will soon observe National Work Zone Safety Awareness Week with the aim of saving lives and preventing injuries.
“The unfortunate fact” according to ODOT “is thousands of people nationwide – both motorists and highway workers – are injured or killed in construction work zone crashes … Motorists can do their part by driving the posted speed limit, staying alert, and avoiding distractions in work zones – especially cell phone distractions.”
Motorists need only drive on I-71 (either direction) just outside of Clinton County in the area around the construction zone that is the Jeremiah Morrow Bridge — the highest bridge in Ohio. Even that high above ground, in narrow lanes, surrounded by workers and cranes and barrels, as well as signs that state “55 MPH” and “STAY IN YOUR LANE” … you’ll routinely be “run up on”, passed by cars going at least 70 MPH, with many of those changing lanes — even on the bridge.
Chances are, you’ll experience all of the above within a few short seconds, possibly even by semi-trucks.
Ohio troopers are stationed in and around the area quite often and do what they can, but they’re simply not able to be there 24/7.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (2002-2011):
• 169 people died in vehicle crashes in Ohio work zone in the 10-year period from 2002 to 2011 (the most recent information available)
• 28 people died in 2002, the highest number of vehicle crash deaths in a single year in Ohio work zones
• 8 people died in 2009, the lowest number of vehicle crash deaths in a single year in Ohio work zones
Those numbers are on the rise: From 2009 to 2011, the number of vehicle crash deaths in Ohio work zones doubled from 8 to 16
According to ODOT (2003 to 2012):
• 7 ODOT employees have been killed in construction zones in Ohio in the last decade from 2003 to 2012
• 56,945 vehicle crashes occurred in Ohio work zones in that same 10-year period
• 20,590 vehicle crashes occurred in Ohio work zones when workers were present
• 19,988 of the total vehicle crashes were rear end collisions
The top three causes of work zone crashes are following too closely, failure to control and improper lane changes
All are preventable!
Excessive speed has directly resulted in more than 1,500 work zone crashes since 2003
You are more likely to be injured or killed in a work zone on a dry and sunny August afternoon than any other time of year.
Don’t be THAT driver: Work on safety. Get home safely. Every day.