As someone who regularly drives North Carolina’s roadways, you are probably aware of just how common road construction is across the state. You may not, however, realize just how common car wrecks are within these work zones, or just how often Americans are experiencing injuries or losing their lives in road construction-related traffic crashes.
Per the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration, fatalities stemming from work zone car wrecks are on the rise across the nation, with a 3% increase taking place between 2016 and 2017. This contradicts a national downward trend of fatal car crashes that took place outside of work zones, with non-work zone-related road deaths actually decreasing by about 1.5% during this same time span.
Just how many people are losing their lives in construction zones across the United States? In 2016, 782 deaths occurred in construction zones across the nation, but by 2017, this figure had risen to 799. While the exact reasons for the increase are not currently clear, what is readily apparent is the fact that construction zones present numerous hazards for motorists.
For starters, unfamiliar traffic patterns have the potential to confuse those making their way through road construction. Furthermore, construction vehicles, equipment and signage may prove difficult for you to see or maneuver around. While factors relating to the work zone, itself, have the potential to lead to crashes, motorists who are negligent when traveling through these areas also play a role in many crashes.
Motorists who speed through construction zones, for example, have a hand in a substantial number of work zone-related crash fatalities. In 2016, speed was a factor in 194 fatal construction zone crashes. In 2017, speed contributed to 203 fatal work zone car wrecks. Find more about traffic crashes on our webpage.