In connection to National Work Zone Safety Week, recently the Texas Department of Transportation began to urge drivers to use caution when driving in a work or construction zone.
According to TxDOT, in 2014, 146 people were killed in work zone accidents on Texas roadways. Due to this, the agency placed 146 traffic cones representing the people who died on lawns near North Interstate 35 and Highway 183 in Austin.
The agency reported that the two leading causes of accidents in construction zones are “drivers not paying attention and drivers going too fast or unable to control their speed.”
In Austin, a representative with the MoPac Improvement Project said that workers often work in dark conditions overnight to get construction work done without affecting rush hour traffic.
“I think a lot of folks fail to realize when you’re in that car, it doesn’t feel like you’re going that fast. Go stand out by the side of the road 5-10 feet away from a car doing 60-70 mph and you’ll have a different experience and different understanding of what our workers experience,” said Steve Pustelnyk with the Mopac Improvement Project, according to KXAN-TV.
Remember, in 2013, Texas passed laws making it mandatory for drivers to move over or slow down in work zones, when there are signs or flashing lights on the shoulder of a roadway. Keep in mind, if you are pulled over in a work zone, traffic fines can double when workers are present.
Driving in Work Zones
To avoid a work zone accident, you can take some safety precautions:
- Avoid distracted driving
- Avoid speeding
- Leave room between your vehicle and other vehicles
- Avoid passing vehicles by using the shoulder
- Follow all posted roadside signs
- Avoid driving when you are tired
Keep in mind, not only do you put employees at risk for injuries or death when you drive recklessly in work zones, you also put other drivers at risk. You could potentially cause an accident that could result in a vehicle hitting barriers or construction equipment.
Contacting an Attorney Following a Vehicle Accident
Remember, aside from death, many workers have suffered catastrophic injuries like lost limbs, broken bones, spinal cord injuries and/or brain injuries in work zone accidents. If you are injured in a work zone accident, you may have legal rights. It may be in your best interest to speak to an attorney about workers’ compensation and/or a personal injury lawsuit.
The Law Offices of Aaron Allison – Austin Personal Injury Attorney
[Did You Know? In 2013, nationally, 579 people were killed in work zone accidents.]