A Texas driver is dead and four construction workers are injured following a work zone car accident on the MoPac Expressway in Austin on the night of Tuesday, December 1. This work zone crash represents one of many thousands of such incidents that happen in Texas every year.
Details of the Crash
Austin authorities report that a work zone accident on Tuesday left one individual dead and another four workers with severe to life-threatening injuries. The incident occured on North Mopac Expressway on the southbound side near the Parmer Lane exit.
The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority (CTRMA) reported that the work crew was in the process of fixing a guard fence along the highway and had only been on the scene for 45 minutes before the crash occurred at around 9:45 p.m. Nighttime road work is common due to the lighter traffic commonly seen after around 8 p.m., according to CTRMA’s director of engineering.
The crash occurred after a vehicle swerved across MoPac and entered the work zone. Austin-Travis County EMS (ATCEMS) initially reported that the driver of the vehicle was trapped inside before reporting that the individual had died on the scene.
Soon after, one worker was transported to St. David’s Medical Center with life-threatening injuries. Later, another three workers were transported to nearby hospitals with serious and potentially serious injuries.
Work Zone Accidents in Texas on the Rise
Road work accidents have long been common in Texas. However, the rate of these sorts of accidents has skyrocketed over the past decade. According to data gathered by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), in 2019 alone, there were over 26,000 work zone crashes. In 2010, on the other hand, there were roughly 13,000 such crashes. This means that work zone crashes have doubled in the past decade.
According to AAA, there is a possibility that 2020 will see fewer work zone crashes than the year before it. So far, there have been 19,733 work zone car accidents in Texas this year, lower than one would expect if crashes were to exceed 26,000. However, it’s possible that this data is simply incomplete.
Even if this year does see fewer work zone crashes, there is reason to believe that any reduction will be erased in the coming year. Due to the pandemic, fewer cars are on the roads. It’s possible that work zone crashes could rise again once our driving habits are back to normal. Similarly, crashes could be down if roadwork is reduced, something that would also be erased in a normal year.
According to TxDOT, there are currently 2,511 roadwork projects underway or beginning soon. You can check their site to see if there is any construction underway on your normal routes.
Should you encounter one of these zones while driving, there are a few simple rules to follow to help keep workers, and yourself, safe:
- Expect reduced speeds, lane closures.
- Slow down.
- Stay alert.
- Follow posted directions.
- Practice patience.
- Merge as soon as possible.
- Give fellow drivers extra space.
- Plan for delays.
If you’ve been involved in a work zone car accident in Texas, contact the Houston car accident attorneys of Lapeze & Johns for legal assistance today.