Texas has seen a decrease in work-zone fatalities in 2010 from the previous year, the Texas Department of Transportation announced ahead of next week’s National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW). The state attributed the decrease in fatalities to increased safety measures and public outreach efforts.
The 2012 National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW) is April 23-27. As in past years, TxDOT will join the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), national transportation associations and other state DOTs to remember victims and raise awareness about safety precautions for workers and motorists in work zones.
Work zones can be hazardous for motorists and crews working to improve Texas’ highways.
In 2010, 100 people were killed in highway construction and maintenance zones in Texas, down from 108 the previous year. While work zone fatalities and crashes have declined, there is still work to do.
"Each year, Texas sees fewer work-zone fatalities than the year before, largely because of coordinated efforts to educate motorists on the dangers of speed and distracted driving in work zones," said John Barton, TxDOT’s deputy executive director. "Each of us has the power to protect lives as we drive. We just need to put our cell phones down, stop adjusting the radio and focus on driving safely."
TxDOT maintains approximately 80,000 miles of highway and oversees more than 1,000 construction or maintenance projects at any given time. With so much construction, motorists frequently encounter work zones.
In 2010, there were 3,073 distracted driver crashes in work zones, involving 7,468 vehicles. These distracted driver crashes resulted in 14 fatalities.