It’s a scene drivers traveling U.S. highway 287 have become all too familiar with: a pick-up truck driver near a construction zone collided with another vehicle to avoid hitting a semi-truck. This Texas highway crash is the latest in a string of fatal accidents involving construction-ridden U.S. highway 287. In fact, three people have died in separate incidents over the course of one month.
Construction Zones Cause Public Concern
Following three fatalities within a month, the $8 million rehabilitation project for U.S. highway 287 has garnered an increasing amount of public concern as its construction zones have proved to do more harm than good. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has attempted to settle drivers’ anxieties by reiterating that the construction will improve road safety. The construction is expected to wrap up at the end of the month.
While the message from TxDOT comes with good intentions, it does not change the fact that construction zone-related fatalities and accidents are increasing. In 2018, the most recent year of TxDOT work-zone accident-related statistics, there was 25,162 Texas work zone crashes; of those crashes, 161 resulted in fatalities, close to double the recorded 92 work zone accident fatalities in 2009. Currently, Texas has as many as 3,000 active construction sites across its 80,000 miles of highway, which means drivers should be aware of the risks associated with them.
Safety Tips for Driving In Construction Zones
As the population across the state booms, Texas shows no signs of slowing down its growth anytime soon. In order to keep pace with population demand and city growth, infrastructure across the state will continue to require improvements. Drivers can help negate the potential for accidents by practicing the following safe driving tips.
Historically speaking, speeding is a top cause of motor vehicle accidents. Failure to control speed not only has the potential to cause major roadway accidents – such as rollovers and multi-car pile-ups – it also increases the severity of the injuries sustained on impact. Fine amounts for speeding double when tickets are issued in a construction zone, providing a financial reason to slow down in addition to being safe.
Work zones require drivers to pay additional attention beyond that of a normal commute. Drivers face numerous obstacles when traveling through work zones, such as temporary physical barriers, roadway debris, heavy equipment, and even road crews and construction workers. Technological distractions like texting can prove deadly in areas congested due to construction. Because many work zones don’t offer drivers an emergency lane or shoulder for safe passing, drivers must exercise caution and keep their eyes focused on the road.
TxDOT encourages drivers to check current and future road conditions for any changes due to weather or construction. Planning ahead and accounting for contingencies in one’s schedule due to construction-related traffic delays can help ease a stressful situation. While road rage can get the best of any driver, it puts everyone on the road in danger. Rushed drivers making flippant decisions, such as changing lanes without signaling or tailgating, put others and themselves, at a greater risk for accidents.
Texas Motor Vehicle Accident Attorneys
Texas’ wide-open spaces mean its residents do a lot of driving; and, constant construction along major highways and roads can put drivers and passengers in dangerous situations. If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident, it is important to have the right representation to help you deal with the other driver and their insurance company. Contact Craft Law Firm today to learn more about how we can help.