National Work Zone Awareness Month was in March. It makes sense that the awareness week occurs at the start of the road construction season in the spring. Drivers and workers may have forgotten basic safety precautions during the winter months; having the awareness event helps remind drivers to slow down and workers to watch out for traffic.
Statistics Tell the Story of Road Construction Fatalities
In 2010, there were 87,606 work zone crashes in the United States, according to the Federal Highway Administration. Of these, 586 were fatal. In that same year in Texas, there were 99 fatal work zone accidents. The number rose to 104 in 2013, the last for which statistics exist. In both instances, most of the deaths occurred in motorists. What can drivers in Texas and nationally do to reverse this trend?
Following Common Sense Rules Can Reduce Work Zone Fatalities
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, following a few common-sense rules can go a long way toward reversing the increase in construction zone deaths. These include:
- Obey the speed limit. Speeding is a major cause of construction zone accidents.
- Pay attention. Lanes change and workers and equipment may be only a few feet away. Driving in a work zone is not the time to answer your phone.
- Be patient. Getting to your destination quickly is not as important as saving a life which could be your own.
- Plan ahead. If you know that there is road construction on your route, leave a few minutes early or take another highway.
The two most common causes of work zone truckj and car accidents are speeding and driver inattention, both of which can be traffic violations. Remember, drivers charged with moving violations in work zones face doubled fines.