• WSDOT highlights safety during Work Zone Awareness Week

    By: KIRO 7 News Staff

    Updated:

    OLYMPIA, Wash. - There have been many crashes in road work zones over the years, and this week the state is calling attention to the problem during National Work Zone Awareness Week.

    A construction vehicle was involved in a crash in a work zone on SR 167 just south of I-405 just before midnight Tuesday.

    The pickup truck that hit the construction vehicle flipped onto its top. Luckily, no one was seriously hurt.

    But in 2018, Washington had 11 people die in work zones on state roadways.

    Washington State Department of Transportation says the top three reasons for work zone collisions are inattention/distracted driving, following too close and excessive speed. Drivers who aren’t paying attention behind the wheel are not prepared for sudden slowdowns and last-minute lane changes in work zones.

    Officers cited inattention in 539 work zone crashes in Washington in 2018, and in the past 10 years, inattention has been cited in 4,976 work zone crashes in the state.

    Wednesday is Go Orange for Safety Day and WSDOT’s worker memorial ceremony.

    People coming to WSDOT’s Northwest Regional Headquarters will see 60 orange barrels set up along the driveway. They stand for 60 WSDOT workers who died in work zones in the state since 1950.

    The sentinels of the SR 520 bridge across Lake Washington are also lit up orange to raise awareness, and this week, stories and data are being shared on WSDOT's blog.

    Monday's blog tells the story of an WSDOT employee who had just got out of his work truck parked on the shoulder of SR 3 when a semi-truck slammed into it, crushing it between the semi and a drill truck.

    WSDOT has some data to consider for National Work Zone Awareness Week:

    • 94 percent of people hurt in work zone crashes are not workers, but motorists, passengers and pedestrians.
    • Nationally, there's a work zone crash every 5.4 minutes.
    • Washington averages 768 road work zone injuries each year.
    • Traffic fines are double in work zones

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