National Work Zone Awareness Week aims to reduce traffic fatalities in work zones

Across Texas, numbers of car accident fatalities in work zones is rising.

SAN ANTONIO — The number of fatal work zone crashes in Texas is going up. TxDot is doing what they can to cut down on the crashes and save lives.

This week is National Workzone Awareness Week and the statewide “Be Safe. Drive Smart” work zone safety campaign kicks off today. TxDOT Traffic Safety Program Manager, Michael, Teran, told us, “Road crews are often working only a few feet away from fast moving vehicles, and are counting on drivers to pay attention to orange cones, traffic barrels, and flashing signs to keep them safe.” 

At night, the rate of crashes increases even more. A study by personal injury attorneys at the Omega Law Group showed Texas was the fourth deadliest state to drive in at night. 

From 2017 to 2021 Texas totaled 17,549 deadly crashes, 7,460 of them during the day, and 10,087 during the night. That means fatal night crashes account for 57.5% of fatal crashes. 

Teran added, “Remember, traffic fines double in workshops when workers are present. Pay attention. Avoid distractions and put your phone away. Watch out for road crews.”

In 2023 TxDOT says there were more than 26,000 traffic crashes in close to 2,000 work zones in Texas. That is a three percent increase over the 2022. Here in San Antonio last year there were 3.579 traffic crashes in work zones, which resulted in 11 fatalities. 

“Traffic crashes in work zones can be deadly, and most of the fatalities are drivers or their passengers,” said Teran.

The “Be Safe. Drive Smart.” campaign offers five tips for safely navigating work zones:

1. Slow down. Follow the posted speed limit and never drive faster than what is safe for road conditions. Excessive speed is a leading cause of work zone crashes.

2. Pay attention. Avoid distractions, keep your mind on the road and put your phone away.

3. Watch out for road crews. Roadside workers want to get home safely too. Always follow instructions and be mindful of construction area road signs.

4. Don’t tailgate. Traffic in work zones can slow suddenly so give yourself room to stop in a hurry. Rear-end collisions are the most common type of work zone crashes.

5. Allow extra time. Road construction can slow things down. Count on it, and plan for it.

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