ODOT celebrates Work Zone Awareness Week

2015 ODOT construction overhaul

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) – The week of April 20 is National Work Zone Awareness Week, intended to promote safety in work zones for workers, motorists and pedestrians.

“There were 6,574 work zone crashes in Ohio during 2019, an all-time record. It’s not a record we like to hold,” said Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) Director Jack Marchbanks in a press release.

The 2019 numbers are 40 percent higher than the previous year. Unfortunately, through March, Ohio was on pace with 2019.

According to ODOT, most of the work zone crashes are rear-end crashes caused by drivers traveling too fast or too closely to the vehicle in front of them.

Included in the work zone crashes last year were 1,121 injuries, 129 of those being serious and 16 deaths. Two construction workers were killed in 2019, both worked for Cleveland-based TraffTech Inc.

“The men and women who work on and along our roadways put their lives on the line each and every day to ensure our roads and bridges are in the best condition possible. All they ask in return is for motorists to pay attention to them, move over, and slow down,” said Marchbanks.

Since ODOTs inception as the Ohio Department of Highways in 1905, there have been 162 employees killed in the line of duty.

According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, there were 13,495 distracted driving crashes in Ohio last year, a number we know is vastly under-reported. Of those crashes, 41 were deadly.

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