As the construction season ramps up, Tennessee American Water joins utilities and organizations across the country to highlight National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW), which runs from April 17-21, 2023.
NWZAW was launched more than 20 years ago to raise public awareness about work zone safety and the importance of using extra caution when traveling through work zones to keep roadway workers and motorists safe.
According to the National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse, there were 774 fatal crashes nationwide in work zones resulting in 857 deaths in 2020. Twenty-two of these work zone fatalities were in Tennessee.
“Work zone safety week provides the opportunity to remind everyone to stay alert when traveling in work zones,” said Grant Evitts, President of Tennessee American Water. “Our team spends a lot of time on the roads in the communities where we serve and perform critical work. Your safety, as well as the safety of our employees, is important to us.”
Keep these tips, from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in mind when traveling in work zones:
- Slow down: Follow posted speed limits. Adjust your speed for traffic flows and weather conditions. Keep an eye out for road workers and their equipment.
- Keep your distance: Don’t tailgate. Leave at least three seconds or more (depending on your speed) of braking room between you and the vehicle in front of you.
- Move into an open lane: When approaching lane closures, move into the open lane as soon as possible. Be sure to pay close attention to vehicles around you that could be in your blind spot.
- Pay attention and stay alert: Be prepared for sudden stops. Avoid changing radio stations and using cell phones.
- Be patient and make safety your first priority.
Learn more about American Water’s approach to safety.