By Brad Sant, senior vice president/safety & education, ARTBA
U.S. traffic-related fatalities in 2017 passed 40,000 for the second straight year, the National Safety Council (NSC) reported. By comparison, there were less than 33,000 fatalities in 2015. Debbie Hersman, NSC’s chief executive, said alcohol and high speeds play a disproportionate role in fatal crashes, and half of deaths involve a driver or passenger who isn’t wearing a seat belt.
For roadway construction zones, the low mark of 586 fatalities was set in 2010. While the 2017 work zone-specific data has not yet been extracted, in 2016 work zone fatalities reached a 9-year high at 765.
The ARTBA Foundation’s National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse has worked closely with the U.S. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and its partner the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) to create a new “Work Zone Fatal Crashes and Fatalities” dashboard (www.workzonesafety.org/crash-information/work-zone-injuries-injury-property-damage-crashes) where work zone safety information can be found in an easy-to-understand infographic format. State-specific information is also available by year and crash-type (total, truck-involved, pedestrian involved, and worker).
ARTBA and FHWA have also created a new work zone safety brochure for drivers, offering information and tips for driving through work zones. It can also be found on the Clearinghouse at www.workzonesafety.org/publication/driving-safely-around-work-zones-alert-expect-unexpected.