With new communities and roadways seemingly popping up around every corner throughout Texas and across America, road construction is a constant presence, but road construction zones present a considerable threat for motorists. In fact, the number of car crashes occurring in the nation’s construction zones is on the rise, and as a result, so, too, is the number of injuries people suffer while navigating their way through them.
Per the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration, the number of car crashes that took place in the country’s work zones rose substantially between 2013 and 2015, with the number of construction zone crashes increasing more than 40 percent during that time period. Additionally, in 2015, at least 70 work zone crashes resulting in injury occurred every day on the nation’s roads, while 12 work zone crashes every week ended in at least one fatality.
Construction zone hazards
Driving through road construction is always dangerous, but statistics indicate that certain types of crashes, such as rear-end collisions, are especially common in work zones. In fact, in 2013, more than 40 percent of all fatal work zone crashes involved rear-end collisions, while rear-end collisions only accounted for about 16 percent of all fatal crashes nationwide.
So, why are rear-end accidents and others so common in these areas? First, any time traffic patterns change, some motorists have a hard time adjusting to them. In some cases, unclear detours cause confusion among motorists, leading some to stop suddenly, which can cause rear-end crashes. Other drivers find they have a hard time traveling through work zones because large trucks, equipment and machinery are in their line of vision, proving difficult to see and maneuver around. Other work zone crashes happen because drivers are speeding or consuming alcohol before traveling through them, making those motorists increasingly likely to cause crashes.
While taking extreme care when navigating your way through road construction can reduce your risk of injury or death, there is only so much you can do when others drive negligently.