MDOT Urges MI Drivers To Help Keep Road Workers Safe

Lansing, MI - In 2022, sixteen people lost their lives in Michigan work zones. With clearheaded, focused driving, these heartbreaks could have been avoided.

Fast facts:

  • National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW) is April 17-21.
  • Three workers and thirteen motorists were killed in Michigan work zones in 2022.
  • Play your part and drive with focus navigating through work zones.

Everyone has a vital role when driving. Every road worker has a vital role fixing our roads and bridges. April 17-21, 2023 is National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW), and this year’s theme is, “You play a role in work zone safety. Work with us!” NWZAW has been observed for more than 20 years and was launched as a public awareness campaign to help everyone understand they play a key role in keeping motorists and road workers safe.

“Every day, our transportation professionals work hard to fix roads and bridges in communities across Michigan,” said Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II. “But everyone plays a role when it comes to keeping work zones safe. I encourage every Michigander to do your part during National Work Zone Awareness Week and help everyone get to their destination safely.”

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and every other Michigan road agency are working hard to fix our aging infrastructure, so stay alert and be vigilant when you’re behind the wheel. In 2022, preliminary work zone crash information shows that there were:

  • 16 fatalities,
  • 54 serious injuries, and
  • 4,393 total crashes.

“Every hard hat, every high-vis vest, the thousands of motorists; We’re all on the same team,” said MDOT’s Work Zone Technical Specialist, Chuck Bergmann. “Driving safely and workers making safety a priority between the cones will help get everyone home.” 

A media event will be held next Tuesday, April 18, with speakers from the Michigan State Police, MDOT, and other safety officials throughout Michigan. In addition, special guest, Emily Hause, will speak about losing her father, Barry Hause, in a work zone crash in September 2019 and how that has impacted her life. She will also talk about how the American Traffic Safety Services Foundation’s Roadway Worker Memorial Scholarship has helped her with higher education cost and her academic dreams.      

With Michigan's $3.5 billion Rebuilding Michigan program, there are numerous projects all throughout the state, and they all require your undivided attention. 

Road and bridges need work, but there are also work zones above and below the roads to address fiberoptic, water, sanitation, natural gas, and electricity. 

To create awareness and show your support for each work zone crew, wear orange on Wednesday, April 19. We can all make it home safely if we work together, so "Go Orange" at home or in the field and share a photo on social media of you or your team wearing orange using hashtags #Orange4Safety and #NWZAW.

MDOT reminds everyone to know before you go. Check www.Michigan.gov/Drive for active work zones on state roads (I, M and US routes) before heading out.

Since 2000, NWZAW is part of the Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) national safety campaign, a vision of eliminating fatalities on our nation's roads.

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