TEXAS, (KLTV) - Each day there are an average of 70 work zone related crashes in the state of Texas, that’s according to the Texas Department of Transportation’s study from 2018. Due to that danger, those that work on the side of busy roadways describe the job as challenging in more ways than one.
“There are a thousand and one things to look out for when they are out here working,” says Cal Hayes, a TxDOT Transportation Engineer.
Whether it’s operating heavy machinery or working just feet away from oncoming traffic, roadside workers say they must always be alert, and they need drivers to do the same.
“Speeding and inattention are the two major causes of crashes in work zones," says Kathi White, TxDOT Information Officer.
TxDOT has reported 321 accidents in the Tyler district in the past year alone; 4 of those were fatal.
“The traveling public as they are going through our work zone should be aware and slow down,” says Hayes. “We're out here trying to complete a job that benefits everyone."
With warmer months ahead, more roadside construction is expected and it’s not just the safety of those outside of the car that’s at risk. 84 percent of those who are killed in work zone crashes are motorists and their passengers.
April 8-12 is National Work Zone Awareness week. TxDOT is urging drivers to slow down and pay attention in work zones.
"It makes the construction workers job easier and everyone gets home safely,” says Hayes.
TxDOT also reminds drivers that when a worker is present at a construction site, the fine of a speeding ticket doubles.