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Highway safety: Don't blow by those work zones

April 24, 2000
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About 39,000 people were injured as a result of motor vehicle crashes in highway work zones in 1998, and 772 people were killed, according to the American Traffic Safety Services Association.

To bring attention to the toll, the first week of April has been designated National Work Zone Safety Awareness Week.

A work zone crash involves a motor vehicle traffic crash that occurs in the vicinity of highway construction, highway maintenance, or utility work.

In the past five years, the number of persons killed in motor vehicle crashes in work zones has gone from a high of 828 in 1994 to a low of 693 in 1997, for an average of 760 per year. On average, 16 percent of fatalities resulting from crashes in work zones between 1994-1998 involved non-motorists (pedestrians and bicyclists).

About 3,000 people were injured in large truck work zone crashes in 1998. Most fatal work zone crashes for all vehicles and large trucks occurred on roads with speed limits of 55 miles per hour or greater.

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