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Work Zone Fatality Reduction Strategies

Recently, the FHWA released a webinar and associated recordings regarding the reduction in work zone fatalities. During this webinar, three States that have experienced reductions in work zone fatalities over the past several years shared their efforts in work zone planning, management, and outreach. Presenters from CA, NC and FL provided examples of how it takes a combination of strategies to make work zones safer and offered suggestions based on their experiences that may help other agencies enhance work zone safety. A recording of the webinar, transcript, and the presentations are now available.

In 2010, there were 576 fatalities in U.S. work zones. We all basically understand that work zones can be hazardous places. People die each and year in work zones. 576 is not just number, but it is a representation of lives lost in work zones. According to data from our Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), the 576 fatalities that we experienced in 2010 were a 13.6% decrease from the prior year, when there were 667 fatalities. This continues the trend of decreasing work zone fatalities that has been occurring since 2002: a 10-year downward trend from when fatalities peaked at 1,186 in 2002.

This is the lowest number of work zone fatalities in 30 years – since 1982 – when there were 489 work zone fatalities. This is all very good news; the number of fatalities is certainly moving in the right direction, and there are more lives saved each year. However, there are still 576 lives lost, and we need to continue to work to reduce that loss of life.

ABove shows a pictorial representation of the number of fatalities over the last 15 years or so. You can see it increased for a little while, but since 2002 we've been on a downward trend, with an even greater decrease since 2006. This slide shows a different representation of the same data to show the trend line.

Check out the webinar and other related items here.

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