Work zone safety
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Work zone safety

Every day, crews across Texas work to build and maintain the state's roads, sometimes separated from high-speed traffic by only a few feet. In recognition of National Work Zone Awareness Week, April 15–19, 2024, TxDOT calls on motorists to make driving safely a priority when passing through the state’s active work zones. In 2023, more than 26,000 traffic crashes occurred in work zones in Texas, resulting in 190 deaths and another 803 serious injuries.

Of the 190 traffic fatalities in Texas work zones in 2023, 77 percent were drivers or their passengers. In addition, two roadside workers were killed. Speeding, driver inattention and unsafe lane changes were among the leading causes of work zone crashes.

Driver safety

Work zones present a different and sometimes challenging environment for drivers to navigate. Motorists may encounter uneven pavement, narrow lanes, concrete barriers, slow-moving heavy equipment, and vehicles that make sudden stops. TxDOT’s “Be Safe. Drive Smart.” campaign offers five tips for safely driving through work zones:

  • Slow down. Follow the posted work zone speed limit and never drive faster than what is safe for road conditions.
  • Pay attention. Avoid distractions, keep your mind on the road and put your phone away.
  • Don’t tailgate. Give yourself room to stop in a hurry, should you need to. Rear-end collisions are the most common kind of work zone crashes.
  • Watch out for road crews. Roadside workers want to get home safely too. Always follow instructions and be mindful of construction area road signs.
  • Allow extra time. Road construction can slow things down. Count on it and plan for it.

More work to do

TxDOT continues to work on increased safety measures and public outreach efforts to educate motorists about driving in work zones. We encourage everyone, from engineers and planners to drivers and pedestrians, to take responsibility for work zone safety. As part of this outreach, we remind drivers of the state's Move Over/Slow Down law. It requires drivers to move over a lane or reduce their speed to 20 mph below the posted speed limit when approaching a TxDOT, emergency, law enforcement, tow truck, or utility vehicle stopped with flashing lights activated on the roadside or shoulder. Violation of this law can result in a fine of up to $1,250 for a first offense. Stricter penalties for drivers who cause serious injuries by failing to follow these rules now include possible jail time and a fine of up to $4,000.