State Emphasizes Work Zone Safety AwarenessAbstract:
Over the years, highway work zones have been improved through the use of safer construction barrels, signs and barricades, which are designed to reduce both vehicle damage and potential driver injury when hit by a vehicle. The use of portable concrete barriers and crash cushions also protect drivers from dangers such as steep drop-offs and construction equipment, as well as protect workers from traffic. TxDOT workers are wearing new safety vests with fluorescent reflective material all the way around, rather than just the front and back. Despite the safety improvements, 132 people died in highway work zone crashes in Texas during 1999. Alcohol and speeding were factors in 38 percent of highway work zone crashes in Texas in 1998, while 13 percent involved failure to stay in the driving lane. Another 11 percent involved failure to yield right-of-way. TxDOT, along with the Federal Highway Administration, the American Traffic Safety Services Association and others are working to increase awareness and education in work zone safety by observing National Work Zone Safety Awareness Week, April 9-13. TxDOT urges motorists to slow down in work zones, drive the appropriate speed for the conditions and obey all warning signs.