TXDOT CALLS FOR SAFE DRIVING IN WORK ZONES TO CONTINUE THE DOWNWARD TREND IN FATALITIES
Work zone crash fatalities decreased for the first time since 2018
ATLANTA — Following a year in which work zone crashes killed fewer people in Texas, TxDOT calls on all drivers to stay vigilant and help continue that downward trend. As National Work Zone Awareness Week kicks off, TxDOT’s “Be Safe. Drive Smart.” campaign reminds drivers to stay alert and exercise caution when going through road construction and maintenance areas.
In the Atlanta District in 2022, there were 515 crashes in work zones, resulting in 27 serious injuries and three fatalities. “We don’t want anyone hurt or killed in our work zones or anywhere on our roads,” said Atlanta District Engineer Rebecca Wells. “We need motorists to do their part, to drive with care, especially in work zones. We want them to drive as if it’s their loved one working so close to traffic every day.”
The Atlanta District includes Bowie, Cass, Camp, Harrison, Marion, Morris, Panola, Titus, and Upshur Counties.
Statewide, traffic fatalities in work zones were down 16% in 2022, decreasing for the first time since 2018. Despite that, 205 people died, and another 788 were seriously injured in Texas work zones last year. The vast majority of those killed, 85%, were drivers or their passengers.
“Although it’s encouraging to see a reduction in the number of work zone crashes and fatalities last year, one life lost is too many,” said TxDOT Executive Director Marc Williams. “We’re calling on all Texas drivers to slow down and stay alert when traveling through work zones. Doing so could save a life, including your own.”
The “Be Safe. Drive Smart.” campaign offers five tips for safely navigating work zones:
1. Slow down. Follow the posted speed limit and proactively adjust your driving to match road conditions. Excessive speed is one of the leading causes of work zone crashes.
2. Pay attention. Avoid distractions, keep your mind on the road, and put your phone away.
3. Watch out for road crews. Roadside workers want to get home safely, too. So always follow instructions and be mindful of construction area road signs.
4. Don’t tailgate. Give yourself room to stop in a hurry should traffic stop suddenly. Rear-end collisions are the most common type of work zone crashes.
5. Allow extra time. Road construction can slow things down. Count on it, and plan for it.
TxDOT also reminds motorists of the state’s Move Over/Slow Down law that requires drivers to move over a lane or reduce their speed to 20 mph below the posted speed limit when approaching TxDOT, emergency, law enforcement, tow truck, or utility vehicles stopped with flashing lights activated on the roadside.
Traffic fines double in work zones when workers are present and cost up to $2,000. Failure to heed the Move Over/Slow Down law can also result in a fine of up to $2,000.
Roadway safety professionals are encouraged to wear orange on Apr. 19 for National Go Orange Day to show their support for work zone safety proudly.
TxDOT’s “Be Safe. Drive Smart.” campaign is a critical component of #EndTheStreakTX, a broader social media, and word-of-mouth effort that encourages drivers to make safer choices while behind the wheel to help end the streak of daily deaths. Nov. 7, 2000, was the last deathless day on Texas roadways.
For media inquiries, contact TxDOT Atlanta District Public Information Officer Heather Deaton at Heather.Deaton@TxDOT.gov or (903) 799-1306.
Follow TxDOT’s Atlanta District on Facebook @TxDOTAtlantaTX, Twitter @TxDOTAtlanta, and Nextdoor.
The information contained in this report represents reportable data collected from the Texas Peace Officer’s Crash Report (CR-3). The department received and processed this information as of Feb. 13, 2023. To view additional traffic safety data, visit TxDOT’s Traffic Safety Data Portal online.