UPDATED: Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - 10:15pm
Waco , TX — Each year in Texas, there are approximately 15,000 crashes and more than 100 people killed in highway construction and maintenance zones. Motorists traveling through work zones make up the majority of fatalities. The two leading causes of work zone crashes are failure to control speed and driver inattention.
In Texas, there can be as many as 2,500 active work zones at any given time. There are currently 20 active work zones along Interstate 35 in Texas, encompassing 109.6 miles from north to south. This is the largest number of work zones TxDOT has ever had on the state’s main corridor, as it tackles one of the largest construction programs in department history.
In 2013, there were 17,266 crashes in roadway construction and maintenance zones in Texas, resulting in 3,522 serious injuries and 115 fatalities.
Roadway work zones are hazardous, both for workers and motorists who drive through the complex array of signs, barrels and lane changes. Please keep the following tips in mind when driving through work zones:
•Slow down and always follow posted work zone speed limits. Speeding is one of the major causes of work zone crashes. Remember, traffic fines double in work zones.
•Pay attention. Workers and heavy equipment may only be a few feet from passing vehicles.
•Be patient. Delays from highway construction can be frustrating, but it only takes a few extra minutes to slow down for a work zone.
•Plan ahead. Leave a few minutes early when traveling through a work zone in order to reach your destination on time.
Fines for moving violations in work zones can be as high as $400 if workers are present.
More Work to Do
Work zone safety and awareness is critical, both for drivers and the men and women who work on our highways. TxDOT continues to work on increased safety measures and public outreach efforts to educate motorists about the dangers of work zones, but we need your help.
Work Zone Awareness Week:
Every year in April, TxDOT collaborates with the Federal Highway Administration and other transportation partners to observe National Work Zone Awareness Week.
Everyone needs to take responsibility for work zone safety, from engineers and planners to drivers and pedestrians. TxDOT is working to educate the public and raise awareness of safety precautions for workers and motorists in work zones. Be safe. Drive smart.