Wednesday's wreck shows just how important it is to pay careful attention in highway construction zones.
Fortunately, nobody was killed or seriously injured. However, that is not always the case in work zones across the country. In the Beaumont District, there were 823 work zone related wrecks in 2007. In those wrecks, 13 people died. In Texas, 147 people died in work zones crashes.
To help bring attention to the problem, TxDOT and other transportation groups have designated this week as National Work Zone Awareness Week. The Beaumont District has set up 147 cones in front of the district office to remember those people killed in Texas work zones.
Just why are there so many wrecks? Speeding is one reason. However, our contractors and maintenance crews say people not paying attention to their driving is probably the biggest reason for wrecks. Situations and circumstances are always changing in work zones. Lanes narrow and traffic often slows down to much lower speeds. In fact, one out of every three work zone wrecks involve rear-ended crashes.
There's a good chance you'll run across a construction zone the next time you hit the highway. Remember to slow down, pay attention, and give some space to the car in front of you.