Drive Safe in Work Zones So We All Get Home

Everything’s bigger in Texas, including our infrastructure. The Lone Star State boasts 80,000 miles of roadway and 50,000 bridges. But that’s not enough. With 400,000 people moving to Texas each year, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is working hard to keep pace. There are more than 2,500 active TxDOT work zones at any given time, and TxDOT reminds everyone that they can be dangerous places for crews and motorists alike.

Uneven pavement, slow-moving machinery, narrow lanes and concrete barriers are just a few of the unique hazards in work zones. Those hazards, combined with drivers’ inattention and failure to control speed, culminated in 19,000 work zone crashes during 2014. Surprisingly, motorists accounted for 87 percent of the resulting fatalities.

In recognition of National Work Zone Safety Awareness Week, TxDOT encourages everyone to follow these safety tips:

  • Slow down, and always follow posted work zone speed limits. Speeding is a major cause of work zone crashes. Remember, traffic fines double in work zones.
  • Pay attention. Workers and heavy equipment may only be a few feet from passing vehicles.
  • Put away distractions. We’re not just talking about cell phones. Distractions include eating, combing your hair, putting on makeup and anything else that takes your hands, eyes or mind off of driving.
  • Keep a safe following distance. Vehicles often stop or slow down suddenly in work zones.
  • Be patient. Delays from highway construction can be frustrating, but it only takes a few extra minutes to slow down for a work zone.
  • Plan your trip. Leave a few minutes early when traveling through a work zone so you reach your destination on time, without speeding.
  • Check road conditions. You can call (800) 452-9292 or visit drivetexas.org to find out about accidents, road closures, construction and other roadway conditions.

Want to get involved?
TxDOT is one of thousands of regulatory agencies, businesses and motorists across the country observing work zone safety this week. This year’s theme, “Drive Safe in Work Zones So We All Get Home,” is a reminder of what’s at stake when we speed, use our cell phone and practice other risky behaviors in work zones. To find out how to get involved in observing National Work Zone Safety Awareness Week, visit TxDOT’s website.

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