National Work Zone Awareness Week highlights need for driver caution

WASHINGTON — This week, drivers are being asked to pay special attention when coming up on a work zone. National Work Zone Awareness Week kicks off Monday.

It is about bringing attention to motorist and worker safety, especially since more than 40,000 people are hurt in work zone crashes every year.

This is 15th year for the awareness week. This year’s theme is “Expect the Unexpected,” especially when drivers approach a work zone.

On Wednesday, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is holding a vigil that is dedicated to transportation workers who have lost their lives while working in roadway work zones.

In Virginia, in 2012, there were more than 3,000 crashes in work zones.  Thirteen people died in those crashes, and more than 1,500 were injured.  But what you might find surprising is that most of those who were killed or injured in work zones weren’t the workers, but were  motorists.

Tailgating or following too closely is a major reason for most of the crashes.  Drivers are also reminded to go the posted speed for the work zone.  In Virginia, you face up to a $500 fine for speeding in a highway work zone.

VDOT shared this dramatic video of a worker’s close call:

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