Nowadays, road construction is virtually unavoidable across San Antonio and the surrounding communities, but navigating through it can prove difficult and dangerous for some drivers. Even if you remain vigilant and exercise extreme care when making your way through work zones, other motorists may not do the same. The combination of construction equipment, unclear traffic patterns and negligent drivers can, in many cases, prove deadly.
Just how many car crashes are taking place in the country’s construction zones?
Work zone car crash statistics
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration, work zone crashes were so common across the nation’s roadways in 2015 that 70 work zone crashes resulting in injury took place every day. Additionally, 12 work zone crashes resulted in at least one death every week in 2015, and the year prior, fatalities that occurred in construction zones accounted for 2 percent of all roadway fatalities nationwide.
The hazards of work zones
What is it about work zones that make them such dangerous places to drive? First, the road construction itself can present hazards, which may include trucks and machinery that hinder visibility, unclear detours and so on. Second, other drivers who are already driving negligently sometimes find it increasingly difficult to navigate their way through construction zones, and the results can prove catastrophic.
Speeding, for example, is a common factor in work zone crashes, with speed playing a role in 28 percent of fatal construction zone car crashes in 2014. Alcohol consumption, too, came into play in many cases, with about a quarter of all fatal work zone crashes in 2014 involving alcohol.
Rear-end collisions are especially common in construction zones, and they often occur because other drivers fail to notice when other drivers stop ahead of them due to construction or construction-related traffic. While, nationally, rear-end collisions accounted for 16 percent of all fatal crashes in 2013, they were the cause of more than 40 percent of fatal crashes that occurred in work zones that same year.
Work zones present certain unavoidable dangers, but many causes of work zone crashes are completely avoidable. Even if you are always careful when driving through them, the actions of others can still place you and your loved ones in danger.