WACO, TX – Work Zone Safety Awareness Week kicks off Monday, April 8. This week is the Texas Department of Transportation’s way of refreshing the minds of the traveling public to always be safe and drive smart when traversing a work zone.

According to TxDOT, there are approximately 3,000 work zones on Texas roads at any one time. So, when you have so many working areas, the likelihood of an accident can increase dramatically.

Posted signs are still there to warn drivers of an upcoming work zone, as well as a slower posted speed limit. But, some drivers don’t slow down and some don’t pay attention to the work area at all.

In 2018, there were 25,162 workplace accidents, resulting in 161 fatalities and 684 other serious injuries, according to TxDOT. The leading causes of these crashes statewide are due to driver attention and excessive speed.

“The first thing we want everyone to do is reduce your speed, slow down,” said Ken Roberts, public information officer for TxDOT. “Be aware of the environment a work area is a different kind of environment.”

Construction workers risk their lives to improve the roads of Texas, many pass them at high speed and it scares the workers because they are only a few feet away.

“We have motorists going down this highway. The speed limit is 60 to 65 miles per hour and they’re usually going 75, 80 or even 85 miles per hour,” said Jesse Sepeda, area safety manager for Primoris Heavy. Civil.

With one eye on their work and the other on the road, construction workers must exercise caution when working on the roads.

“We have what they call a 5-to-1 ratio for every five seconds an employee is looking at their work or while they are working,” said Brandon Sanders, Waco Safety District Manager. “They’re supposed to look back an extra second to see what’s going on behind them at all times.”

As the weather gets warmer and the days get longer, you’ll see more and more work zones popping up around your usual commute. If you happen to pass through a work area, be sure to be safe and drive smart.

TxDOT said that in 2018, 84% of work zone accidents resulted in the death of a motorist or passenger. You may see more safe driving signs when driving through construction zones this week, but without the signs reminding us that we should always remember to be careful and drive smart when traveling through a construction zone.

“Work zone awareness and work zone safety – it’s every day. It’s a year-long awareness for us and a campaign for us,” Sepeda said.

Some tips to help you when you are on the road and crossing a work zone: be careful, do not heel, minimize distractions and obey road signs.

TxDOT is hosting an I35 Public Information Meeting on April 17 at the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum in the Knox Building.

They are also looking for your feedback, TxDOT is asking those traveling on I35 through Waco to take a quick survey. They want to know how you use I35, what information is helpful, what isn’t, and what more could be provided to the greater Waco area.

For more information on Workplace Safety Awareness Week, visit TxDOT website.

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