National Work Zone Awareness Week encourages drivers to stay saf - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

National Work Zone Awareness Week encourages drivers to stay safe and drive smart

Source: KXXV Source: KXXV
CENTRAL TEXAS (KXXV) -

This week is National Work Zone Awareness Week and TxDOT officials are working to inform people why it's important to slow down in work zones. 

Fatalities in Texas have increased by 27 percent within the last year, which is why officials are encouraging drivers to stay alert, limit distractions, and slow down on the roads. 

Officials said people often think crashes result in the death of roadside workers, but studies show most of the deaths include the people driving on the roads.

Within the past year over 180 people lost there lives on Texas roads, and 96 percent of the people who died were motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists. 
Therefore, officials said this week reminds all drivers that everyday requires people to stay alert and use caution when driving through work zones.

Public information officer Ken Roberts for TxDOT's Waco district said its all about being safe and driving smart.

"We want people to be aware that things are going to happen unexpectedly. They have to be situationally aware and know what's going on around them on the outside. In the same way, they need to be safe from the other drivers as well. Give everybody plenty of distance and reduce their speed as necessary," Roberts said.

Officials said the leading cause of fatal work zone crashes statewide are caused by speeding and failure to stay in a single lane which are both preventable.
Texas Highway Patrol Sergeant D.L. Wilson also gave tips on how pedestrians can maintain their safety on the roads. 

"You know bicyclists have to ride with the traffic but pedestrians by Texas law they need to walk against it so they can see the car coming at them.You wouldn't want to be walking with your back against the traffic in case a car is going to run off the road and strike you. So you want to be able to walk towards the traffic so if you see something happen you can jump out of the way," Sgt. Wilson said. 

Officials said it is illegal to walk along highway roads in Texas. However, they warned pedestrians and bicyclists who walk or ride when it's dark to wear reflective gear to limit their chances of getting struck by a vehicle. 

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