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As a motorist, you may find it annoying and time-consuming when you encounter road construction. However, research shows that traveling through work zones is also quite dangerous. Your chances of getting into a crash and suffering an injury or fatality is higher in construction zones than other parts of the roadway, highlighting a need for vigilance in these areas. 

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration, work zones often contain hazards that may confuse or otherwise hinder the performance of motorists. Traffic patterns may undergo frequent changes in these areas, and other elements, such as narrowed rights of way or unclear signage, may also elevate crash risks. 

Work zone crash statistics

While many work zone crashes lead to injuries, traveling through these areas also places you at higher risk of a traffic fatality. Between 2016 and 2017, the number of nationwide fatal crashes decreased by 1.5%. 

In construction zones, though, the number of fatal crashes rose by 3% during this same time. Also, while you face a higher crash and fatality risk when you navigate a work zone in a vehicle, you also face hazards in these areas as a pedestrian or bicyclist. The number of pedestrians and cyclists killed in work zones increased by 9% between 2016 and 2017. 

Speed-related work zone crashes

While drivers who speed anywhere endanger you and everyone else traveling the roadway, drivers who speed in work zones may place you at an even higher risk of a wreck. Of the 799 work zone road fatalities that occurred in 2017, 203 of them involved speed. 

Find more about car wrecks in construction zones and other areas on our webpage.