Safety Tips in Work Zones
With 146 people killed in Texas work zone crashes last year – an increase of more than 20 percent from 2013 – the Texas Department of Transportation urges drivers to slow down, pay attention and be extra cautious when driving through work zones and construction areas.
With approximately 400,000 people moving to Texas each year, the price of progress can mean more than 2,500 active TxDOT work zones at any given time. Last year, 19,393 work zone crashes marked a 10-percent increase over 2013.
Safety Tips for Driving Through Work Zones
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) reminds motorists to exercise extra caution when traveling through work zones. Last year, 19,393 crashes occurred in Texas work zones resulting in 670 serious injuries and 146 fatalities. Eighty-seven percent of those killed were motorists.
- Slow down and always follow posted work zone speed limits. Traffic fines can double in work zones. A fine for a moving violation in a work zone can be as high as $2,000.
- Pay attention. Workers and heavy equipment may be only a few feet from passing vehicles.
- 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 ahead. Leave early when traveling through a work zone to reach your destination on time.
- Expect the unexpected. Work zones present a different, more challenging environment to navigate. A few of the conditions you may encounter in a work zone include uneven pavement, narrow lanes, concrete barriers, slow-moving heavy equipment and vehicles that make sudden stops.
Move Over, Slow Down— It’s the Law
- Drivers must move over or slow down when they see flashing blue or amber lights on a TxDOT vehicle, emergency vehicle or tow truck stopped on the roadside or shoulder
- Drivers should move out of the lane closest to the TxDOT or emergency vehicle, or reduce their speed. If the road does not offer multiple lanes, the driver must slow down to 20 mph below the posted limit. On roadways with posted speed limits of 25 mph or less, drivers must reduce their speed to 5 mph.