More than 1,000 people die each year from crashes in highway construction zones, and most of them are drivers, according to Federal Highway Administrator Mary Peters.

Peters said 1,181 people died and 52,000 were injured in work zone crashes in 2002. That was 53 percent more than in 1998. Four out of five of those who die in work zone crashes are drivers and passengers, not highway workers, Peters said.

Peters said the number of deaths is rising because highway construction is increasing.

Texas had the most work zone deaths by far in 2002, with 192. California had the second-highest number, with 119. Alaska, Connecticut, North Dakota, Rhode Island and Utah had one each, according to statistics from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

Peters urged drivers not to tailgate in work zones, saying rear-end crashes are the most common type of accident in work zones.