CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - Construction zones can be dangerous for drivers and workers, especially when drivers fail to slow down and yield to signs.
Officials say when you see orange signs or yellow vests, you need to slow down. This isn't only for your safety, but also for the crews out there working.
Most of the guys out here have been on the job, for years. They specialize in street work., and nearly all of them, can recall or have heard of, a situation where a worker's life has been put in harm’s way, because of a driver, not being smart in a work zone.
Broderick woods experienced a close call years back on a different road project, when a driver wasn't looking at workers cues to stop for construction ahead.
“We’re yelling ‘stop, stop, stop!’ The only thing we could do was jump out the way. She hit about five or six cones,” Woods told FOX 46.
In Mecklenburg county, the latest numbers show there have been 1,215 crashes, in work zones.
Statewide, 26 work zone crashes were deadly, where either the person behind the wheel or a worker, died.
Steve Whitten, Safety Manager with the Charlotte Department of Transportation, says this is happening because drivers either going to fast or aren’t paying attention.
“When you see orange, slow down,” Whitten says. “People have a tendency to think they can multitask: talk on the phone, drive, eat, do everything else when their main focus should just be on the driving. That distracts them and if you're distracted in a work zone not only can you get injured but the workers in the work zone can get injured in the crash.”
Work zones in both neighborhoods and along interstates are not going away anytime soon, especially in the Queen City, so it's important drivers, learn to coexist with them.
During National Work Zone Awareness Week, it's important to keep all of this in mind.