AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - If you've driven anywhere in Amarillo, it's not news to you that there are detours and work zones seemingly everywhere.
While it can be frustrating, TxDOT's new campaign is asking drivers to be more aware of their surroundings to make sure the safety of everyone remains a top priority.
Last year alone, there were 500 work zone crashes in the Amarillo district.
Of those wrecks, 21 people suffered serious injuries and seven of those were fatalities.
"Most notably the one out at I-40 east where a trailer came loose and rolled and struck three construction crew members of one of our contractors," said Sonja Gross, TxDOT Public Information Officer Sonja Gross. "Actually it struck more than that, but it killed three construction crew members, so it's just ever vigilant is what we need our drivers to be."
TxDOT's safety message is aiming to curb the increase in work zone crashes statewide in the past year.
"On my way over here to this construction site, I noticed a vehicle hop the median, the grass median to avoid the delay," said Gross. "Not only is that dangerous, it's against the law."
"I noticed the same vehicle almost lose control as they were trying to navigate onto the grass, then back off the grass onto the frontage road,' said Gross. "They're putting themselves at risk and the people on the frontage roads at risk."
That risk is something you may not realize in a car, but you will experience if you're standing by a construction zone with cars flying by you who are trying to navigate the array of orange cones and closures.
We've had a couple of drivers come back and tell us that truck almost took my head off, they're on the side of the road and people aren't paying attention," said Leah Del Fierro, owner at Señor Towing. "They're just texting, they're looking at the radio and they're not scooting over and they almost hit our drivers a lot. We just ask the public to scoot over. We ask that because we want our drivers to make it home to their families and loved ones also."
Although this is a week-long campaign, TxDOT wants to remind everyone that being aware in a work zone is an everyday thing when you see construction cones.