Apr 11, 2023

Stay alert: Three work zone crashes per day in Kansas

Posted Apr 11, 2023 11:00 PM

Great Bend Post

In 2022, there was an average of three work zone crashes every day in Kansas. A work zone is an area of a street or highway with construction, maintenance or utility work. The Kansas Department of Transportation construction and maintenance workers face danger on a daily basis in their jobs. KDOT Public Affairs Manager Tim Potter said employees or contracted workers try to do everything possible to make sure drivers are aware of work zones.

"One of the main things we rely on are signs that people should heed," said Potter. "In particular, one of the most important signs is the reduced speed limit sign for the work zone. There's work activity going on, construction vehicles and workers around."

National Work Zone Awareness week will begin April 17 to highlight the importance of slowing down while in work zones.

Potter said awareness of work zones is also for the safety of motorists. Between 85% to 90% of the time, the people that are injured in work zone crashes are motorists.

"We rely on people being alert," said Potter. "The top contributing circumstance of work zone crashes is inattention. People are following too closely, driving to fast for the conditions, improperly changing lanes or violating the right-of-way."

Everyone is encouraged to wear orange on April 19, the official “Go Orange Day” in Kansas to show support for Kansas highway workers.