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Work zone auto accidents a serious problem throughout Texas

We all know, or should know, that road maintenance workers risk life and limb to do their jobs. But according to the Texas Department of Transportation, 80 percent of the people who die as a result of crashes in road work zones are drivers and passengers.

In fact, Texas saw 16,000 auto accidents in work zones in 2012, and 134 people died in those crashes. Those numbers are in part why this past week was National Work Zone Awareness Week. TxDOT officials in Houston held an event to raise awareness about driving safely in work zones and to demonstrate the violent consequences of speeding and distracted or drunken driving.

The event involved the re-enactment of a crash in a work zone, but too many maintenance workers and innocent motorists are all-too-aware of the results of negligent driving.

One man interviewed in a local report described his frightening ordeal. He was standing near a truck with a co-worker when a car seemed to come out of nowhere. The vehicle hit the man and propelled him 30 away from the point of contact. He landed in the median. His co-worker's injuries were even worse. The car hit him and ran right over him. The man being interviewed said the collisions happened without warning -- no horn, no sound of tires screeching.

As in most auto accidents, the culprits are the same in work zone crashes: distracted driving, speeding and drunk driving. These are all forms of negligence that too often result in personal injury and death, and victims of distracted driving or their family members need to know their options under Texas law.

Source: KUHF Houston Public Radio, "What's Behind The High Number Of Work Zone Crashes?" Gail Delaughter, April 17, 2013

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