Auto safety experts are growing increasingly concerned about the risks associated with distracted driving. Potential distractions for drivers have been popping up more and more as we have seen an increase in the amount of electronic devices that drivers have access to while they drive. Distracted driving can be dangerous even in good road conditions. However, as the spring and summer construction season begins on Maryland highways, distracted driving can be even more dangerous.
Maryland has averaged more than 2,600 work-zone car accidents annually over the last decade. These accidents cause an average of 12 fatalities and nearly 1,500 injuries each year. Although construction workers are especially vulnerable and do not have the protection of a vehicle surrounding them, about 80 percent of people killed or injured in work zones are drivers and passengers, and not road workers.
Today marks the begining of Work Zone Safety Awareness Week in Maryland and across the nation. Safety advocates and state transportation agencies alike are urging drivers to become more aware of work zones and to exercise great caution when driving in work zones.
Now that winter is behind us, temperatures will rise across Maryland. As temperatures rise, we will see more construction on Maryland roads. The State Highway Administration estimates that there could be as many as 200 active construction sites on any given day throughout the state this summer.
With that much construction on area roads, awareness of road construction and attentive driving will be more important than ever. Distracted driving can cause accidents in normal conditions, but construction, narrowed lanes, workers on the road and moving heavy equipment leave no margin for error.
Source: Frederick News Post, “Work Zone Safety Awareness Week begins Monday,” Stephanie Mlot, 4/1/2011