Large trucks are involved in a third of all fatal work zone crashes despite comprising just 5% of vehicular traffic, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which launched a safety campaign in honor of 2021 National Work Zone Awareness Week, being held this week.
The transportation department’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) data showed an 11% increase in highway work zone fatalities in 2019, the latest year for which numbers are available; 842 people died in highway work zone crashes that year, compared to 757 in 2018.
FMCSA is releasing a series of public service announcements in Florida, Georgia, and Texas—the states with the highest rates of work zone crashes involving large trucks—and is also releasing educational resources and social media messaging nationwide to promote work zone safety. Special programming will also take place in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania, where work zone crashes are also high, including workshops for commercial vehicle drivers and placing safety messaging at weigh stations.
FMCSA said it will join FHWA in urging the public to wear orange this Wednesday, April 28, for a national “Go Orange” day to show support for highway workers.