According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), over 19,400 car accidents occurred in the state’s highway work zones in 2014. These accidents claimed 149 lives and caused 671 incapacitating injuries, as well as over 6,000 less serious injuries.
The problem isn’t limited to Texas. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) estimates that in the past five years, 4,400 people have died in construction zone accidents nationwide, and over 200,000 have been injured. Eighty-five percent of these deaths were suffered by the driver of a vehicle that crashed in a work zone – a number that concerns many experienced Texas car accident lawyers.
How can you help protect yourself and others in a work zone? Many Texans use these tips from the Federal Highway Administration to help drive their own vehicles more safely:
- Get distractions out of the way. It’s hard to pay attention to signs, watch traffic, and stay on the lookout for workers and equipment if you’re distracted. Put away your cell phone, turn down your music, and stay alert.
- Follow all posted signs. Signs warning you of a lane closure, road work ahead, or a detour are there to help you travel safely. Follow them as promptly and safely as you can.
- Slow down. Avoid tailgating, and always control your speed so that you can slow down or stop quickly if you have to. Remember that in a work zone, equipment, workers, or debris may enter the traffic lane suddenly and without warning. Stay alert and in control of your vehicle, even if this means traveling much slower than the posted speed limit for the work area.