Texas work zones got more deadly for motorists in 2020

TxDOT urges safety while driving in work zones

SAN ANTONIO – Deaths from vehicle crashes in work zones increased by 9% in 2020 despite less traffic on the roads, according to the Texas Department of Transportation.

The agency is using National Work Zone Awareness Week to highlight its safety campaign, “Be Safe. Be Smart.”

“It can just be it can be very challenging to drive in these types of conditions,” said Laura Lopez, a TxDOT spokesperson. “So we are asking drivers in work zones to slow down and watch for the signage there and flaggers that may be directing traffic.”

The campaign is critical as 38 people in the San Antonio area alone were either killed or seriously injured in work zones in 2020. Statewide, the number of fatalities was 186. The vast majority were either drivers or passengers in vehicles.

Lopez offered some reminders for drivers:

  1. Slow down and drive to conditions - Unsafe speed is one of the main causes of crashes in work zones.
  2. Pay attention and avoid distractions
  3. Watch out for road crews
  4. Don’t tailgate - Rear-end collisions are the most common kind of work zone crashes.
  5. Allow extra time.

Traffic fines can double in work zones and failure to move over or slow down to 25 m.p.h. for emergency or maintenance vehicles can result in fines of $2,000.

Read more on our traffic page.

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About the Author:

Samuel King anchors traffic during GMSA and reports on transportation and mobility issues across the San Antonio region. He joined the KSAT 12 news team in 2020 from KUT in Austin. Samuel was born in Queens, spent time growing up in South Alabama and graduated from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.