Road construction is an inevitable part of life in many areas, as communities fix existing roads and create new routes to accommodate growing populations. Road construction is also dangerous, however, and your chance of dying in a work zone car crash is higher than your chance of dying while navigating other parts of the roadway.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration, fatal work zone car crashes rose 3% between 2016 and 2017, even though all other fatal crashes nationwide decreased by 1.5%. What aspects of construction zones make them so dangerous to navigate?

Work zone hazards

Construction zones create many hazards for motorists that may increase your chances of a serious or deadly crash. Unfamiliar or unclear traffic patterns or route changes may cause confusion, and, as a result, wrecks. Large trucks and construction equipment may also create visual hazards, making it harder for you to see what lies ahead.

Narrowed rights-of-way and construction workers working close to the roadway may also present hazards that may increase your odds of a crash.

Speed-related hazards

Construction zones are also dangerous when drivers speed through them, with speed a common factor in fatal work zone car crashes. In 2016, speed played a role in 194 fatal work zone crashes on U.S. soil. The following year, this number increased, with 203 people losing their lives in work zones because motorists were speeding.

Drivers who speed through work zones become much less likely to be able to stop suddenly when the need arises. This enhances your risk of having one of them crash into you from behind.

Find more about crashes resulting in injuries or fatalities on our webpage.