17 killed in Michigan work zones last year

Published 9:51 am Thursday, April 6, 2017

LANSING — It is the time of year when construction crews and orange barrels spring into action, and that means driving through work zones.
Last year in Michigan, there were 4,908 work zone crashes and 17 people lost their lives.
Most of those crashes were preventable, according to the Michigan Department of Transportation.
Monday kicked off National Work Zone Awareness Week, where safety agencies across the nation join forces in an effort to increase awareness about the importance of work zone safety.
This year’s theme for National Work Zone Awareness Week, which takes place Monday through Friday, is “Work zone safety is in your hands.”
People can show their support for NWZAW by wearing orange Wednesday. To participate, people can share a photo on social media of them or their team wearing orange, including the hashtags #Orange4Safety and #NWZAW.
For more facts, stats and information about work zone safety, people can visit ops.fhwa.dot.gov/wz/outreach/wz_awareness.htm and michigan.gov/mdotworkzones.
Preliminary 2016 Michigan work zone crash information unfortunately shows increases from 2015 numbers:
• Seventeen fatalities (up from 15 in 2015)
• Seventy-five serious injuries (up from 69 in 2015)
• More than 4,900 total crashes (up from 4,776 in 2015)
“The faces of people who are represented by these crash statistics could be any one of us,” said State Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle. “Each one of those numbers represents a person who left behind parents, siblings, children, and friends who were devastated by their loss. We all need to work together to bring these numbers down with the ultimate goal of zero deaths on our roadways.”
As part of the “Toward Zero Deaths” national safety campaign, a vision of eliminating fatalities on our nation’s roads, NWZAW became a national event in 2000.