Construction zones exist as part of maintaining and improving road conditions. To the workers, it is their job site. To drivers, they are a nuisance, something that makes it slower to get to our destination. Unfortunately, this mindset endangers workers and nearby drivers. These construction zones are clearly marked with warning signs to slow down when approaching the construction area. Avoidable accidents still happen in construction work zones because drivers fail to use caution.
What causes accidents in construction zones?
In the United States, there are thousands of injuries and fatal accidents that happen each year in construction zones. In 2010, it was reported that five people died in highway construction zones in Kentucky. Accidents in construction zones can occur as a result of these commonly reported factors:
- Improper placement of warning signs, barricades and other traffic control devices
- Not enough personnel to control traffic
- Not properly marked work zone areas
- Speeding in construction zones
- Driver inattention
- Impatient or distracted driver
Here are some alarming statistics:
- During the past five years, more than 4,400 persons died (85% of which was the driver or passenger) and 200,000 people were injured.
- Rear-end crashes are the most common type of work zone crash.
- Fatal work zone crashes occur most often in summer and fall. The majority of fatal work zone crashes occurred on roads with speed limits greater than 50 mph.
Pay attention when driving
Paying close attention to the road, traffic and your surroundings is the best way to avoid fatal accidents in construction zones. Construction zones place signs to warn you of upcoming construction. You need to pay attention and follow these signs! They will tell you if you need to reduce your speed or alter your route. Along with following signs, make sure to keep an eye on traffic. Construction zones are notorious for getting congested with traffic. You should expect to slow down or stop suddenly. It is vital to increase awareness for your own safety and the safety of construction workers and other drivers. Accidents in work zones can be devastating and can also cause serious traffic problems. All of these accidents are avoidable.