A recent study found that Texas tops the charts for most work zone crash fatalities in the country by far with 146 fatalities in 2014. In fact, the state with the second largest number of work zone fatalities is Florida, which had only 69 in 2013, less than half what Texas had.
TxDOT is urging drivers to slow down through work zones and to pay attention. Most people think that roadside workers are most likely to get killed in work zone crashes, but actually about 87 percent of those killed last year in work zone crashes were drivers. According to TxDOT, the two biggest factors that lead to work zone crashes are speeding and driver inattention. Many drivers fail to slow down at all in work zones, and may not have their eyes on the road as they are driving through the work zone.
In 2013, there were a total number of 19,393 crashes in work zones but what’s really scary is that the 2014 statistics for Texas show a 20% increase over the number of fatalities from the previous year which begs the question; why the increase? One reason seems to be because there are so many projects on Texas’s roads. On average, about 400,000 people are moving to Texas each year, which means that the roads have to be improved to deal with population growth. More work zones naturally leads to more accidents.
Because Texas drivers are so used to road constructions zones, they may fail to treat these zones as particularly dangerous and requiring extra caution. Besides slowing down, drivers should also refrain from using their cell-phones or allowing anything to distract them.