Even with less traffic during the pandemic, fatalities in Texas work areas increased 9% in 2020 compared to 2019. That’s why TxDOT calls on drivers to make safety their number one priority at all times. and in particular when passing through areas of active construction and maintenance work. pavement.
TxDOT’s “Be Safe. Drive Smart. The campaign marks National Work Zone Awareness Week, April 26-30, with safety tips to reduce fatalities in work zones. Last year there was had more than 22,000 traffic accidents in Texas work areas, killing 186 people, including four truck workers.
âWe know that traversing construction zones can be difficult,â said James Bass, executive director of TxDOT. âThere can be additional traffic jams, slow heavy equipment, temporary barriers and vehicles stopping suddenly. We cannot stress enough the importance of giving your full attention to driving and slowing down, for your own safety and the safety of those working along the road.
Drivers and their passengers represent the majority of people who die in work area accidents. In 2020, 147 motorists and vehicle passengers were killed in work areas in Texas, along with 35 pedestrians and cyclists and four highway workers.
Texas Mutual Insurance Company, which helps employers prevent workplace incidents and their consequences, partners with TxDOT to promote safe driving. The âBe Safe. Drive Smart.â Campaign outlines five key steps that drivers can take to navigate safely in a work area:
To slow down. Follow the posted speed limit and drive within the conditions. Dangerous speed is one of the main causes of accidents in work areas.
Pay attention. Avoid distractions, keep your mind on the road, and put your phone away.
Beware of road crews. The only protective gear they wear is a safety vest, helmet and boots. Remember, they also want to go home safe and sound.
Do not tailgate. Give yourself room to stop quickly if you need to. Rear-end collisions are the most common type of workplace accident.
Allow extra time. Road building can slow things down. Count on it and plan it.
Traffic fines double in work zones when workers are present and can cost up to $ 2,000. Failure to follow the Move Over / Slow Down law can also result in a fine of $ 2,000. State law requires drivers to enter a lane or reduce their speed to 20 mph below the posted speed limit when approaching a TxDOT vehicle, emergency vehicle, d ” a law enforcement vehicle, tow truck or utility vehicle stopped with flashing lights activated on the side of the road.
âBe careful. Drive smart. Is a key part of #EndTheStreakTX, a broader social media and word-of-mouth effort that encourages drivers to make safer driving choices, like wearing a seat belt, limiting speed, never text, drive, and never drive under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. November 7, 2000 was the last day without death on the roads of Texas. #EndTheStreakTX calls on all Texans pledge to drive safely to help end the string of daily fatalities.
For media inquiries, contact TxDOT Media Relations at [email protected] or (512) 463-8700.