COLUMBUS, Ohio, April 5, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The Ohio Contractors Association (OCA) is reminding and urging motorists to keep their hands on the steering wheel and eyes on the road, as construction workers are more frequently found working close to active traffic lanes with the start of the 2019 Ohio road construction season.
While April 8-12 marks the 2019 National Work Zone Awareness Week, OCA, a statewide organization supporting Ohio's heavy, highway and utility industry, wants to increase the awareness of the traveling public by reminding motorists to drive at posted speed limits, eliminate distractions while driving and be watchful for roadway workers and their equipment.
With longer days and warmer temperatures, April unofficially is the first full-month of the Ohio road construction season and busier construction zones. Unfortunately, this is proven by the number of work zone occurrences. Over the past 10 years (2009-2018), work zone crashes in Ohio during the month of April have nearly doubled those occurring in the months of December, January and February. August has typically been the worst month for work zone crashes in the state.
Nationally, inattentiveness leads to a work zone crash occurring every 5.4 minutes, which results in 70 injury crashes every day and 12 fatalities every week. While 2018's national work zone statistics have yet to be released, last year Ohio's work zones were the site of more than 4,600 crashes. These work zone incidences last year in Ohio led to 689 minor and serious injuries and 14 deaths.
"OCA represents the many contractors and employees who work hard every day to build, upgrade and maintain Ohio's extensive network of highways, roads and bridges," said OCA Director of Labor Relations & Safety Affairs Mark Potnick.
"Traffic control zones are an integral part of that process," Potnick added. "Our devices, signs and directions are professionally and technically placed to protect both workers and the traveling public. We hope this year's slogan: 'Drive like you work here' will cause the public to consider the plight of our workers who must concentrate on their daily tasks while motorists and vehicles of all types whiz by!"
OCA would like to remind motorists traveling through work zones to follow these tips from the Federal Highway Administration:
- Stay alert & minimize distractions
- Keep headlights on
- Pay attention to the road
- Merge into the proper lane
- Don't tailgate
- Obey the posted speed limit
- Change lanes safely
- Follow instructions from flaggers
- Expect the unexpected
- Be patient
Potnick urged motorists, "Please be patient, obey directions and slow down when you enter our work zones now and throughout Ohio's 2019 construction season!"
National Work Zone Awareness Week began in 2000 as a public awareness campaign by the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA). For more information about the 2019 National Work Zone Awareness Week, visit http://www.nwzaw.org/.
Established in 1918, OCA represents more than 200 contractor members and more than 300 associate members statewide. For more information about the association, visit ohiocontractors.org.
Contact: Mark Potnick,
Director, Labor Relations & Safety Affairs
SOURCE Ohio Contractors Association