Work zones are temporary. Actions behind the wheel can last forever.

3 min readApr 15, 2024


Work Zone: Plan Ahead — Research your route and use detours when possible graphic

Almost a third of all fatal crashes in work zones involve a large truck, according to the latest available data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System. Commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) are greatly overrepresented in fatal work zone crashes as compared to fatal non-work zone crashes — commercial motor vehicles are involved in over half of fatal work zone crashes that occur on rural interstates.[i]


CMV-Involved Fatal Work Zone Creashes and Percent Involement In all Fatal Work Zone Creashes 2012–2021

Line graph showing CMV-involved fatal work zone crashes have trended upwards, rising from 135 in 2012 to 291 in 2021.

Similarly, the percentage of all fatal work zone crashes that involve a CMV has risen from 24.2 percent in 2012 to 33.3 percent in 2021.

It is important for all drivers to stay alert to challenges in work zones, like narrow lanes, sudden stops, traffic pattern shifts, and uneven road surfaces, because highway workers depend on safe driving for their workplace safety. That is why FMCSA is speaking out during National Work Zone Awareness Week (April 15–19, 2024) to urge CMV drivers to exercise increased caution when approaching and driving through work zones, and encouraging the public to raise awareness in their communities using FMCSA’s Work Zone Safety campaign materials. Resources include social media assets and local social media playbooks, a work zone safety presentation, earned media materials for specific states (talking points, press releases, one-pagers, pitch scripts), printed flyers, visor cards, and more.

Sharing Work Zones Safely

In 2021, there were 874 fatal work zone crashes that resulted in 956 deaths. To prevent these deaths and drive safely through work zones, FMCSA is sharing the following tips:

Research Your Route — Before setting out on the road, research your route. When possible, avoid work zones and use any detours that are available.

Pay Attention — Keep your eyes on the road and avoid distractions, like using a mobile device or adjusting the GPS. Be aware of all signage throughout work zones that can indicate reduced speeds, lane changes, and other important information.

Slow Down — Make sure to slow down when entering a work zone and keep an eye out for road workers. Give workers extra room and be prepared to stop.

Protect Workers

Move into the Open Lane — When approaching lane closures, move into the open lane as soon as possible. Be sure to pay close attention to vehicles around you that could be in your blind spot.

Keep Your Distance — Rear-end crashes are extremely common in work zones, so maintain extra space between your vehicle and the one in front of you at all times.

National Work Zone Awareness Week Activities

This year, the Maryland Department of Transportation is hosting the 2024 National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW) kickoff event on April 16, 2024, with the theme “Work zones are temporary. Actions behind the wheel can last forever.” The NWZAW kickoff event will be held on the I-70 overpass overlooking I-695 in Baltimore County.

Support NWZAW and participate in the week’s commemoration activities, including:

  • April 15 Work Zone Safety Training Day
  • April 16 National kickoff event
  • April 17 Go Orange Day
  • April 18 Social media storm
  • April 19 Moment of silence

For more information and shareable resources visit FMCSA’s work zone safety campaign website.




Our primary mission is to prevent crashes, injuries and fatalities involving large trucks and buses.