In 2012, there were 51 fatalities, nearly 3,500 serious injuries and 4,700 crashes — all in Florida’s work zones.
Although that’s down from 62 fatalities and 3,700 serious injuries, the Florida Department of Transportation wants to continue to bring light to dangers in work zones, designating this week National Work Zone Awareness Week.
“Florida has many infrastructure improvement projects,” FDOT secretary Ananth Prasad said, in a release. “Work zones create unexpected hazards, and extra caution should be taken in these areas. Motorists should slow down, stay alert, and avoid distractions like texting.”
The awareness week began in 1999 when the Federal Highway Administration, the American Traffic Safety Services Association, and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials pledged to increase public awareness of work zone safety issues through a national media campaign.
Local, state and federal transportation officials observe that in April, the traditional start of the highway construction season across most of the country.
“Construction crews face difficult conditions every day while they work to improve our highways and make them safer,” said Col. David Brierton, Florida Highway Patrol’s director, in a release. “And those conditions are made even more difficult when you factor in the daily flow of traffic they must work around.”