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National Work Zone Awareness Week should bring caution to Norman

Think about the last time you drove by a work zone in Norman. You probably saw a line of large cones sectioning off the area of the road that was under construction. You also probably saw workers using large equipment and working very close to traffic. As a driver, it is easy to think that the cones will protect workers from any oncoming traffic. However, the numbers show that that is not always the case.

In 2011, there were nearly 700 car accidents resulting in death or injury that were related to a work zone somehow. In 2010, 576 people were killed in work zone accidents, and the vast majority of people who died in these accidents were drivers and passengers. Now is the time to learn about how you can prevent these accidents from occurring.

This week is National Work Zone Awareness Week, a week dedicated to understanding how drivers can play a role in keeping road workers and themselves safe in work zones. As we get closer to summertime in Oklahoma, the number of workers on the roads will spike, so it's important for drivers to be cautious in work zones. This means slowing down, being vigilant and aware of your surroundings, and avoiding distractions like cellphones when you're in a work zone.

Work zones can sometimes be difficult for drivers to navigate, but simply knowing the statistics related to work-zone accidents can be enough to remind drivers of the need to be cautious. Roadway workers have a dangerous job, so let's all do our best to keep ourselves and the road workers in Norman safe this spring and summer.

Source: Norman Transcript, "Drivers to seek work zone safety this week," April 16, 2013

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