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Urges Motorists to Stay Vigilant on the Roadways and Offers Safe Driving Tips 

Charleston, W.Va. (April 12, 2016) – This week is National Work Zone Awareness Week (April 11-15), and the West Virginia Trucking Association (WVTA) urges motorists to be extremely attentive and cautious as the warmer temperatures signal the beginning of construction season along our state’s roadways.

“While paying attention to traffic signage and focusing on the road is important any time you get behind the wheel, it’s particularly important in the summer months when you see an increase in the number of work zones on our roadways,” said Ryan Thorn, public affairs coordinator for the West Virginia Trucking Association. “The increase of work zones paired with a surge of summer travel can be particularly dangerous. We urge motorists to eliminate distractions, obey posted speed limits, remain patient and be vigilant of construction workers and their equipment in work zones.” 

The national work zone safety campaign was created in 1999 by the Federal Highway Administration, the American Traffic Safety Services Association, the Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials and other engaged stakeholders, as a way to raise public awareness of work zone hazards. 

Tragically, about 100 workers die and an additional 20,000 are injured annually as a result of work zone crashes. Surprisingly though, the majority of fatalities that occur in work zones are motorists and not the workers themselves. While unfortunate accidents do occur, the majority of work zone crashes are preventable. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the leading factors contributing to crashes are speeding, impatience and traffic congestion. 

As we recognize National Work Zone Safety Awareness Week, the WVTA encourages drivers to be extra cautious and considerate on the road and to remember these safe-driving tips:

  • Slow Down - Speeding is among the major causes of work zone crashes. 
  • Pay Attention - Warning signs, directional signs and flaggers are in place to guide you through a work zone safely, so read and obey them. Using a cell phone or other handheld device while driving is never a good idea – especially in a work zone. Minimize all distractions that can take your eyes and attention off the road. As a reminder, the use of handheld devices while driving is illegal in West Virginia.
  • Expect Unexpected Road Conditions - Be ready for lowering speed limits, lane restrictions, detours and activity involving workers and equipment next to travel lanes. 
  • Keep a Safe Distance - Rear-end collisions are the most common type of work zone crashes that occur. Keep a safe distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you, construction equipment and construction crews. 
  • Check Road Conditions and Plan Ahead - Give yourself additional time to drive safely. By allowing yourself a few extra minutes on your commute, you’ll make up for the possible work zone delays. Check for traffic information before you get on the road by visiting www.wv511.org
  • Be Patient and Stay Calm - While traffic delays may be frustrating, please remember that road crews are working to improve the condition of the roadways that you travel. 

About the West Virginia Trucking Association: 

The West Virginia Trucking Association (WVTA) was formed in 1932 to bring about an organized and uniform effort within the trucking industry for increased highway safety, as well as public education on the importance and value of commercial vehicle transportation. To that end, the Association has some 260 member companies and is involved in legislative representation, government relations and many highway safety programs.  The WVTA is a statewide, non-profit, association of trucking companies, private fleet operators, industry suppliers, and other firms and individuals interested in the well-being of motor transportation at the local, state and national level.

WVTA Members Receive a 2.7% discount
West Virginia Trucking Association members receive a 2.7% discount

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