Observing National Work Zone Awareness Week, April 23-27
April 18, 2012 at 7:01 p.m.
Updated April 17, 2012 at 11:18 p.m.
Navigating construction can be difficult, not to mention risky for both drivers and workers.
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) manages more than 1,000 highway projects at any given time on 80,000 miles of Texas roads. To remember victims and raise safety awareness for workers and motorists, TxDOT will join the Federal Highway Administration and other transportation partners April 23-27 to observe the 13th annual National Work Zone Awareness Week.
Work zones can be hazardous for both motorists and highway crews working to improve Texas' highways. However, because of increased safety measures and public outreach, TxDOT has seen a decline in work zone fatalities for two consecutive years.
In 2010, 100 people were killed in highway construction and maintenance zones in Texas, down from 108 the previous year. While there has been a decline in work zone fatalities and crashes, there is still work to do. Since 1938, there have been 270 TxDOT employees killed, with 200 of those deaths occurring in work zones.
Thankfully, in 2010 the Yoakum District had no work zone fatalities, but we have had 114 crashes that occurred in work zones. More than four out of five, or eighty-five percent, of those killed in work zones are drivers or their passengers. Speeding and inattention are the most common causes cited. Rear-end collisions account for one in three crashes.
Safety is TxDOTs first priority, no matter what job-behind the desk or on the highway.
. Slow down and follow posted speed limits. Traffic fines are double in work zones.
. Pay attention. Workers are often close to traffic.
. Be patient. Delays can be frustrating, but it only takes a few minutes to slow down in a work zone.
. Plan ahead. Leave early to reach your destination.
Drive safe to be safe.
District Engineer, P.E.
Yoakum District, TxDOT