Work Zone Awareness 2018
Oklahoma Department of Transportation and highway workers statewide want to thank drivers who encounter work zones for slowing down, not following too close and putting away distractions. Those are the top three causes of work zone fatality collisions, resulting in 75 deaths statewide in the past five years. Four were ODOT workers and the others were drivers and passengers like you.
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation wants to remind drivers that Your Life Matters: Drive Like It through a month-long public awareness campaign running from April 2 through May 2. This time frame includes National Work Zone Awareness week, which is April 9-13. This year's national theme is "Work Zone Safety: Everybody's Responsibility."
Oklahoma City motorists will see a visual reminder of work zone safety the evening of April 9 when the City of Oklahoma City's SkyDance Bridge over I-40 will glow orange in honor of ODOT's 60 fallen highway workers. The department has lost more workers in the line of duty than any other state agency.
The goal of the campaign is to remind drivers that they have the most to gain by practicing good work zone safety. Watch for our PSAs on your social media feeds or on several billboards across Oklahoma.
Partnering with ODOT as sponsors for the work zone safety awareness campaign are the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office, the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority and other associate partners.
TO HELP keep you safe when traveling, check your route for potential ODOT work zones via this Current Construction Projects map: http://tinyurl.com/z5rsdyh or follow @OKDOT on Twitter or Facebook at www.facebook.com/OKDOT. Sign up for traffic advisories direct to your email at www.odot.org.
Work Zone Fatalities
Highway work zones can be a dangerous place for drivers, passengers and workers if work zone safety is ignored. Just look at the numbers to see:
- 75 fatalities in Oklahoma highway work zones from 2012-2016, including four ODOT workers;
- 18 fatalities in Oklahoma highway work zones in 2016, which included one ODOT worker who lost his life in May 2016;
- 242 collisions in Oklahoma highway work zones in 2016;
- 302 people were injured in Oklahoma collisions in 2016 with 295 people injured in 2015;
- 1,658 people were injured in 1,308 collisions in Oklahoma work zones in the past five years; and
- 765 people were killed nationwide in 2016, which is about an 8 percent increase from 2015 fatality numbers.
Nationally, four out of five people killed in work zones are motorists or passengers in vehicles, indicating the way you drive in work zones has a direct effect on your own safety as well as the safety of highway workers. Your Life Matters: Drive Like It.
Motorists are about 20 times more likely to die in work zone accidents than ODOT workers. We urge drivers to slow down and put away distractions, especially in work zones. Below, ODOT workers thank motorists for remembering that Your Life Matters: Drive Like It.
ODOT Worker Profiles
Chad Greene, a project inspector from Stillwater, has been up close and personal when a fatality has occurred inside an Oklahoma work zone. He does not want to see any more Oklahoma families go through the grief of losing a loved one. Greene urges drivers to put distractions aside in work zones so that everyone can make it home safe. Your Life Matters: Drive Like It
Rick Howland, an engineer with the Oklahoma City Residency, has worked on some of the largest Oklahoma City metro area highway projects and it’s his job to ensure construction zones are set up safely such as the I-235 reconstruction between N. 50th St. and N. 36th St. Howland asks drivers to pay attention, be patient and courteous. “If they can do those, then it’s making it safe for them and also safe for us,” he said. Your Life Matters: Drive Like It
Carolyn Flores, a maintenance superintendent for Pottawatomie County, has spent 26 years working to keep Oklahoma motorists safe and she’s seen a lot risky behavior by drivers in work zones. Following warning signs and staying focused behind the wheel are key in getting everyone home safe at the end of each day, she said. Your Life Matters: Drive Like It.
Safety Tips to Live By
Follow these tips to help keep you, other motorists and work zone employees safe:
- Stay Alert! Dedicate your full attention to the roadway.
- Set Aside Distractions! Avoid using mobile phones or changing radio stations while driving in the work zone.
- Focus on Safe Driving!
- Buckle Up! Safety belts save lives.
- Pay Close Attention! Merge when directed, and pay attention to all signs and work zone flaggers.
- Turn on Your Headlights! Be visible to workers and other drivers.
- Don't Speed! Note the posted speed limits in and around the work zone.
- Don't Tailgate!
- Keep Up with the Traffic Flow!
- Don't Change Lanes in the Work Zone!
- Don't Drink and Drive! Impairment is a danger to everyone using the highways.
- Plan Ahead! Expect delays and leave early so you can reach your destination on time.
- Be Patient! Work zones aren't there to inconvenience you; crews are working to improve the road to make your future drive better.
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) ensures that no person or groups of persons shall, on the grounds of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, retaliation or genetic information, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any and all programs, services, or activities administered by ODOT, its recipients, sub-recipients, and contractors. To request an accommodation please contact the ADA Coordinator at 405-521-4140 or the Oklahoma Relay Service at 1-800-722-0353.