Authorities Give Tips on Driving Through Workzones

WEST VIRGINIA (WOAY) –  It’s National Work Zone Safety Awareness Week, and local authorities want to make sure the community knows how to avoid an accident.

“Last year we lost two people for sure in a construction crew that were hit by a tractor-trailer,” said Joe Parks, chief deputy for Mercer County “It’s devastating all along the line, especially if the driver would’ve just followed the basic safety tips.”

The West Virginia Trucking Association said they hope drivers stay attentive and cautious when driving through the work zones.

Surprisingly, the majority of deaths from work zone accidents are those of motorists rather than workers. Parks said there are several tips that drivers should remember to avoid tragedy.

“[The] 10-second rule gives you three seconds to [turn on] your signal and seven seconds to make the lane change,” said Parks. “The worst wrecks that you have is when two lanes go to one and you’ve got people that are rushing up all the way to the arrow and then barging in.”

The West Virginia Trucking Association said work zone crashes kill about 100 workers and injure 20,000 more.  Parks said remembering one simple rule could prevent it all.

“Be patient when you’re going through a [construction site.] Expect a delay [and] don’t try to rush through it. If you do, it could have some serious consequences.”

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Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at ksimmons@woay.com.