National Work Zone Awareness Week

Each year in the spring, National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW) is held to bring national attention to motorist and worker safety and mobility issues in work zones.

Whether you’re driving in your neighborhood or on a busy highway, making responsible choices in work zones is essential. National Work Zone Awareness Week (April 3-7) is an annual opportunity for motorists to evaluate their driving habits just in time for the busy spring and summer construction season.

What is National Work Zone Safety Month?

Work Zone Safety Month is a national initiative designed to promote public awareness on the dangers of driving distracted and speeding through work zones. Work zones can present an unfamiliar situation to drivers. Changes in traffic patterns, closed or narrowed lanes, and the presence of construction equipment and personnel can cause challenges for motorists as they travel through work zone.

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What are the consequences of driving distracted or speeding through work zones?

  • 32,000 workers and motorists were injured nation-wide. (2012)
  • 130 workers were fatally injured nation-wide. (2012)
  • 609 motorists were fatally injured nation-wide. (2012)

What can motorists do to improve safety in work zones?

  • Keep your eyes on the road at all times.
  • Pay attention to all traffic control devices and visual cues such as signs, cones and flag people.
  • When you see the visual cues, SLOW down and be prepared to stop at any time.

“Work Zone Safety is in Your Hands”

This year’s Work Zone Awareness Week theme, “Work Zone Safety is in Your Hands,” reminds drivers that they play a crucial role in protecting themselves, other motorists and workers while driving in work zones.

2017 National Work Zone Awareness Week: April 3-7 – “Work Zone Safety is in Your Hands”
The 2017 National Work Zone Awareness Week is hosted by the state of Maryland, with a national kick-off event scheduled for Tuesday, April 4 at 10:30 at the Randolph/Georgia Avenue Interchange Project-downtown Silver Spring, Maryland.

When traveling in a work zone, please remember these tips from the Federal Highway Administration:

  • Stay alert and minimize distractions. Your full attention should be on the roadway. Try to avoid common distractions such as changing the radio station, using a mobile phone or eating.
  • Keep your headlights on.
  • Pay attention to the road. Be aware of signs, including signage that may indicate your lane is ending, that a detour is approaching or that you will need to follow the directions of a pilot car or flagger. Watch nearby traffic and be prepared to react to movement around your vehicle.
  • Merge into the proper lane. Merge well before you reach the lane closure, and be aware that these traffic patterns can change daily.
  • Don’t tailgate. Follow the vehicle in front of you at a safe distance, and watch its brake lights carefully. Rear-end crashes are the most common type of work zone crash.
  • Obey the posted speed limit. There may be workers just feet away from your vehicle. Fines are increased in work zones. You may need to be prepared to further slow down if conditions change. Stopping distance increases on wet or icy roads.
  • Change lanes safely. Change lanes within the pavement markings, and wait to change lanes until traffic conditions allow you to do so safely.
  • Follow instructions from flaggers.
  • Expected the unexpected. Watch vigilantly for workers, work vehicles and equipment, which may enter your lane unexpectedly. Be prepared to react to vehicles around you which may slow, stop or change lanes unexpectedly.
  • Be patient.

National Work Zone Awareness Week is coordinated and sponsored by the American Association of State and Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO), the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

Additional Federal and State Resources

How Federal, State, and Other Agencies Are Promoting the National Work Zone Awareness Week

American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA)

American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA)

Associated General Contractors (AGC)

Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

National Safety Council (NSC)

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

U.S. Department of Transportation

Work Zone Awareness Week photos on Twitter


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