Avoiding car accidents in highway work zones and road construction areas.
The traffic flow that passes through work zones present major concerns to many people and organizations including the general public, TxDOT, other transportation officials, commercial motor carriers, and businesses alike. In order to find the best methods for working through these issues and reduce the fatalities and injuries that result from crashes in work zones, the Federal Highway Administration has developed the National Highway Work Zone Safety Program.
Learning about work zone safety.
The National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse (NWZSIC) can help those who are interested learn everything they need to know about work zone safety. Its primary purpose is the promotion of safety for workers, facility owners and operators in construction work zones on the roadways, as well as motorists. The website for the NWZSIC probably has more information on work zone safety than any other online resource. Some of the information you will find on the NWZSIC website include the following:
- Training programs
- Work zone statistics on crashes and fatalities
- Video vault
- Research services
- Information regarding current events that are related to work zone safety
- Any deliverables available from the Work Zone Grants that obtains funding through the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users.
In Texas alone there are approximately 15,000 work zone crashes with at least 100 people killed in areas where highway construction and maintenance are in progress every year. There are two major causes of crashes in work zones: excessive speed for conditions and inattentive driving. Two out of every five work zone crashes is the result of a rear-end collision.
Highway work zones are very common occurrences in most states—Texas has as many as 1,000 projects ongoing at the same time. At the present time there are 20 active work zones along I-35 and covering an area of 109.6 miles traveling from north to south Texas. These current projects encompass the largest number of work zones the Texas Department of Transportation has ever had in progress at the same time along the state’s main corridor. This is the result of its attempt to tackle one of the department’s largest construction programs in its entire history.
According to statistics, Texas saw 16,687 accidents that occurred in roadway construction and maintenance zones. Of those accidents, there were 134 fatalities.
The fact that there is so much construction going on at one time means motorists will frequently come across work zones. The following tips will help those drivers maneuver those work zones safely:
- Reduce speed and always obey posted speed limits for work zones
- Be attentive
- Exercise patience
- Plan ahead in order to allow yourself enough time
Additional work necessary.
There is a critical need for work zone safety awareness not only for drivers, but also for the men and women who work in those highway work zones. TxDOT continually works on measures to increase safety, and participates in various public outreach efforts that are designed to educate drivers about the potential dangers of work zones (like April’s National Work Zone Awareness Week). Unfortunately, these efforts are not enough; they still need the public’s help in raising awareness.
If you have been injured in a car accident while in a highway work zone, call our office at 1-877-405-4313. One of our experienced personal injury lawyers can provide all the information you need, whether you have a claim or just want more information.