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Work zone safety emphasized as construction season ramps up


May 7, 2015

For more information: Dave Thompson, (503) 860-8021

ODOT, contractors call attention to dangers when work zone travelers speed or don’t pay attention

PORTLAND - Several Oregon highway construction contractors described the terror of being hit in the work zone today, part of a concerted effort by private industry and public agencies to make travelers more aware of the dangers of not paying attention in a road construction work zone.

The Oregon Columbia Chapter of the Associated General Contractors, the Oregon Trucking Associations, AAA Oregon/Idaho, the Oregon State Police, Clackamas and Multnomah County Sheriff’s officials and ODOT added to the Governor's proclamation of May as "Transportation Safety Awareness Month" by providing travelers actions they can take to protect themselves, their loved ones, and construction workers, when they travel through work zones.

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.

See our work zone safety infographic (PDF)

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 20 years:

  • More than nine people have died in work zone crashes each year in Oregon.
  • 25 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 two weeks in Oregon).
  • More than one work zone crash happened each day in Oregon.  (In fact, on average, one work zone crash happens every 19 hours in Oregon!)
  • More than two people died in work zone crashes each day in the U.S. (In fact, one work zone death happens every 11 hours in the U.S.)

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.