The season calls for caution

The season calls for caution

Steubenville Herald-Star: Yellow dandelions are popping up in yards and orange construction barrels are beginning to appear on area roads.

Driving in a construction zone can be dangerous, with narrow lanes of travel, reduced speeds and anxious drivers staying way to close to other vehicles.

More people are dying in highway construction work zones as a result of vehicle crashes, the Ohio Department of Transportation reported. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of deaths in construction zones because of vehicle crashes doubled from eight in 2009 to 16 in 2011 in Ohio.

Deadly dangers

An ODOT analysis revealed that 56,945 vehicle crashes occurred in Ohio work zones from 2003 to 2012. Of those crashes, 20,590 happened when construction workers were present. A person is more likely to be injured or killed in a work zone on a dry and sunny August afternoon than any other time of year, ODOT reported.

The top causes of work zone crashes are speed, following too closely, failure to control and improper lane changes.

Traffic is slowed in a construction zone for a reason. Construction vehicles are pulling onto and off the highway. There are workers and heavy equipment operating sometimes just feet from the open lanes of travel.

ODOT has the best words of wisdom — how you drive keeps you alive.

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