Most drivers realize that barreling through a work zone can have consequences. But, for those who don't, Texas has a message: Drive Smart and Arrive Alive.

During the last three years, an average 3,500 crashes occurred each year in North Texas work zones. The leading causes of work zone crashes are excessive speed, distracted driving and alcohol.

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and its major project partners are urging drivers to slow down, pay extra attention in construction zones and avoid drinking alcohol before getting behind the wheel.  

In 2010,100 people were killed in highway construction and maintenance zones in Texas, down from 108 the previous year. While work zone fatalities and crashes have declined, there is still work to do, officials said.

"Each year, Texas sees fewer work zone fatalities than the year before largely because of coordinated efforts to educate motorists on the dangers of speed and distracted driving in work zones," said John Barton, TxDOT's deputy executive director.

"Each of us has the power to protect lives as we drive," Barton said. "We just need to put our cell phones down, stop adjusting the radio and focus on driving safely."
  • In 2010, 61 percent of work zone fatalities were male.
  • Forty-five percent of all work zone fatalities for 2010 were 35 years old or younger.
  • One in three work zone crashes is a rear-end collision.
  • Of the 100 work zone fatalities in 2010, 54 were drug and alcohol-related.

During the summer months, TxDOT oversees more than 1,000 construction or maintenance projects at any given time. With so much construction, motorists frequently encounter work zones.

Barton said everyone should take responsibility for work zone safety, from engineers and planners to drivers and pedestrians.

For more information about work zone safety or to download TxDOT's public service announcements, go to www.txdot.gov and search work zone.