Encountering road construction, utility work or similar maintenance efforts is often frustrating and time-consuming. It may also prove quite dangerous. Each year, thousands of car crashes take place in California’s work zones, and many of them result in at least one injury or fatality.
According to Be Work Zone Alert, 6,525 crashes took place in California’s work zones in 2014 alone. The year prior, 45% of all work zones statewide saw at least one or more car wrecks take place within them. While highway workers earning a living in these construction zones are at risk, 85% of all deaths that occur in work zones involve drivers or passengers passing through them. What is it about these areas that make them so hazardous, and what actions might motorists take to enhance safety when navigating these areas?
Work zone hazards
Work zones create many hazards for motorists. Traffic shifts, lane reductions and unfamiliar detours are some of the factors that make people more prone to crashing in these areas. Highway workers working outside of barriers may also present crash risks. So, too, do other motorists who speed or otherwise drive negligently in these areas.
Work zone safety tips
Drivers may be able to mitigate their crash risks in work zones to some degree by exercising patients and staying alert when navigating through them. Speeding is the biggest cause of work zone car wrecks, so slowing down is another important aspect of navigating a work zone safely.
Many work zone car crashes also occur when motorists drive while distracted. Cellphone use and other distracted driving behaviors are also common contributors to work zone car wrecks.