TxDOT urges extreme caution as motorists make up vast majority of those killed
AUSTIN – Work zone fatalities in Texas last year increased 27 percent, resulting in 181 lost lives. Of those fatalities, 174 (96 percent) were motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists. In Austin alone, there were 854 crashes, resulting in two deaths.
“People often think work zone crashes result in the deaths of roadside workers, but statistics show the vast majority of these fatalities are drivers like you and me who are passing through as motorists,” said TxDOT Executive Director James Bass. “We urge you to pay attention and adhere to posted traffic signs when driving through work zones to ensure your safety and the safety of the men and women who are working on our roads. At the end of the day, we want everyone to return home safely to their loved ones.”
TxDOT reminds drivers that every single day requires caution when driving through work zones. As the state’s population continues to boom, the price of progress can mean more than 2,500 active TxDOT work zones at any given time. In 2016, there were 25,713 work zone crashes in Texas. The leading causes of fatal work zone crashes statewide – speeding and failure to stay in a single lane – are entirely preventable.
“We’ve all driven through work zones, but unless you’ve personally been impacted by a death or injury in one, it’s easy to forget about the human element involved,” said TxDOT Austin District Engineer Terry McCoy. “It’s heart-wrenching to hear these tragic stories about work zone crashes. That’s why I’m asking the entire community to step up and accept the challenge to plan ahead, be patient, and focus on driving safely, especially in our work zones—because one miscalculation could change your life forever.”
By law, drivers are required to move over or slow down when approaching work crews, emergency vehicles or tow trucks stopped on the roadside or shoulder with flashing blue or amber lights. Traffic fines in work zones double when workers are present and can cost up to $2,000.
The Texas Department of Transportation is responsible for maintaining 80,000 miles of road and for supporting aviation, rail, and public transportation across the state. Through collaboration and leadership, we deliver a safe, reliable, and integrated transportation system that enables the movement of people and goods. Find out more at TxDOT.gov. "Like" us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.