May is Transportation Safety Awareness Month

Special focus is on work zone safety this year 

“Safety” is something everyone wants, but actions often tell a different story. Throughout the month of May, there will be plenty of opportunities in communities around the state for people to demonstrate just how important safety is to them., with special emphasis on work zone safety​.
Governor Brown declared May Transportation Safety Awareness Month. She joins ODOT, law enforcement, the highway construction industry, trucking community, American Automobile Association and others to call attention to the importance of work zone safety.
The message to Oregonians has always been when you travel dangerously through a work zone you’re not just putting the lives of highway workers at risk – you’re risking your own life, and the lives of your loved ones. Continued diligence on the part of the drivers, the construction and transportation industry and law enforcement contributed to increased safety in the work zones over the last decade, but we cannot become complacent. We need to continually seek new ways to increase safety.

Many work zones crashes are avoidable tragedies
ODOT crash statistics show that the main causes of crashes in work zones are inattention, speeding and driving too fast for conditions. Did you know…
·       Almost half of all contractors nationwide have had crashes in their work zones.
·       Four out of five work zone fatalities are drivers or passengers.
·       On average, over the past five years (2011-2015)…
          --More than nine five people have died in work zone crashes each year in Oregon.
          --18 fatal or serious injury work zone crashes occurred in Oregon each year (in other words, on average, one fatal or serious injury work zone crash happens every three weeks in Oregon)
          --More than one work zone crash happened each day in Oregon. (In fact, on average, one work zone crash happens every 18 hours in Oregon!)

How travelers can protect themselves and their loved ones—and construction workers, too
We urge travelers to take a couple of actions to protect themselves, their passengers and construction workers:
·       Slow down and expect delays as you approach a work zone: It may be your life you save.
·       Inattention is the biggest cause of work zone crashes. Don’t let it be you!
·       We're doing more to protect workers and you: Help us! Respect the zone: Please slow down and pay attention as you approach and pass through a work zone.
Each and every day, no matter the time of year, when we use the roads and streets in Oregon, we need to take responsibility to keep ourselves and those around us safe.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re traveling by car, bus, walking or riding, we want people to get where they’re going safely,” said Troy E. Costales, ODOT Transportation Safety Division administrator.

Learn more on the Transportation Safety Division​ website.