Now that the weather has warmed up, drivers in Schenectady and across New York State will have to contend with a road hazard that is no less dangerous than winter weather conditions. During the spring, summer and early fall, road workers can be found on highways and interstates everywhere, improving the condition and safety of our high-speed roadways.
However, road work is not without risk. In fact, it can be one of the most dangerous obstacles that drivers encounter. According to the United States Federal Highway Administration, more than 20,000 construction workers every year are injured in accidents related to work zones. This number does not take into account the additional numbers of members of the general public who are injured or killed near road work. Some of the most common ways people are involved in work zone accidents include truck collisions, workers being struck by construction vehicles or traffic and collisions with construction equipment.
To address this issue, one week every spring is designated as National Work Zone Awareness Week. This year, the event was observed from April 11 to 15. Many pervasive safety matters were focused on, including avoiding distractions while driving through work zones, staying alert and being aware that a work zone is coming up.
Drivers and workers alike face a large number of dangers in work zones, including surrounding traffic, congestion, reduced speed limits and road obstructions. Awareness and a commitment to reduce distractions and other unsafe driving habits may go a long way toward preventing accidents and saving lives.