Summer season in Texas is prime time for road construction. Construction can cause a significant risk not just to workers performing the construction job but also to motorists on the road. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data highlights the number of fatalities over the years in construction zones, revealing hundreds or even thousands of fatalities each year. An experienced car accident lawyer can provide assistance to those injured in roadway construction zone accidents.
Road Construction Risks in Texas
Texas is one of the top three states with the highest number of motor vehicle crash fatalities in construction zones. Texas, along with California and Florida, each had at least 50 deaths of motorists in roadway construction zones in 2012.
CDC provides information on the tremendous number of lives lost in construction and maintenance work zones on the road since 1994. From 1994 to 1999, there were an average of 778 motorists killed in road construction areas annually. There were significantly more people killed between 2000 and 2006, when an average of 1060 people died in road construction zones. In 2003, the death toll peaked with 1,095 people killed in road construction zones. There was a decline from 2007 to 2012, with an average of 609 annual fatalities in construction zones. Trends in fatalities in construction zones are affected by economic conditions, with times of more infrastructure spending and prosperity resulting in more construction and more fatal crashes.
Motorists are in danger in construction zones for a lot of reasons. Some drivers get distracted looking at the construction and strike other vehicles because they are not paying attention. Drivers who are forced to detour due to construction may also be distracted by looking at maps or trying to figure out where they are going. The difficulty some drivers have with merging lanes or navigating around construction work sites also contributes to the high death rate among motorists in construction areas.
CDC also has information on construction workers killed in construction zones. Texas, again was a high risk area. In fact, Texas was the single most dangerous state with the highest number of construction workers killed in accidents on roadside construction sites. Between 2003 and 2013 in Texas, there were 131 construction workers killed at roadside construction zones. Transportation incidents (workers getting hit by cars) accounted for 66 percent of roadway work fatal occupational injuries in road construction zones in 2013. In 69 percent of the incidents, a pedestrian worker was hit by a car.
Drivers need to be aware construction sites are dangerous. It is the responsibility of every motorist to exercise reasonable care not to endanger construction workers or fellow drivers. Drivers should slow down, both to prevent an accident and to avoid a ticket for failure to follow reduced construction speeds. If drivers are more careful when traveling through a construction zone, hopefully fewer fatalities will occur and drivers and road workers will be able to stay safe.