by Tim O’Hare
At any given time, there are as many as 1,000 active work zones in Texas; dozens of these are on highways in Dallas-Ft. Worth alone. TxDOT is currently tackling one of the largest construction programs in the history of the department, with more than 20 active work zones spanning more than one-quarter of the 407 miles of I-35 from north to south Texas.
The more construction zones there are, the more worker safety becomes an issue. Every day thousands of construction workers put their lives in the hands of Texas drivers.
According to TxDOT, there are approximately 15,000 crashes and more than 100 people — both drivers and construction workers — killed in highway construction and maintenance zones every year. The leading causes of work zone accidents in Texas: excessive speed, distracted driving and drunk driving. More than 71 percent of the 134 work zone fatalities on Texas roadways in 2012 were related to drugs, alcohol, distracted driving or a combination of these factors.
Improving Texas roadways is a never-ending project, and as frustrating as that fact might be for drivers, it is important that everyone on the road drive through construction zones with extreme caution. TxDOT provides these four tips to keep in mind when driving through work zones:
• Slow down and always follow posted work zone speed limits. Speeding is one of the major causes 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.
• 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 a few minutes early when traveling through a work zone in order to reach your destination on time.
If you have been injured in a work zone car crash, or if you have lost a family member due to an accident in a construction zone, contact The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare for a free consultation with a Dallas personal injury attorney.
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