While large trucks make up roughly 5% of vehicular traffic, they continue to have a disproportional involvement (33%) in fatal crashes occurring in work zones, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
In 2019, 842 people died in crashes in highway work zones, an 11% increase from the year prior and the largest percentage increase of highway work zone fatalities this century, according to the Federal Highway Administration.
In light of the growing number of fatal crashes and in observance of National Work Zone Awareness Week April 26-30, the FMCSA has called on all drivers to stay alert, obey traffic signs and allow all vehicles extra space as we head into the annual roadway repair and construction season.
FMCSA will be concentrating its safety awareness efforts in three states – Florida, Georgia and Texas – which experience some of the highest rates of work zone crashes involving large trucks in the country.
In those states, motorists can expect to hear public service announcements and see safety messaging on billboards as they approach work zones.
Arkansas, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania – also states that have a high number of fatal crashes in work zones each year – will be conducting special activities such as holding educational workshops for commercial vehicle drivers and placing safety signage at weigh stations.
FMCSA has also developed educational resources, including fact sheets, post cards and shareable social media infographics, to help amplify work zone messaging.