While road construction is easy to find across many areas of the country, you may find it especially commonplace as a resident of Nevada. As new roads and residential communities continue to pop up across the state, so, too, do construction teams working on new roadways and repairing existing thoroughfares. While road construction is necessary for the state to continue to accommodate its influx of residents and visitors, these construction zones are becoming increasingly hazardous for motorists, with numerous car crashes taking place in them every day.
In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration, more than 96,500 car wrecks occurred in the country’s construction zones in 2015 alone, which is a substantial, 42-percent jump from two years before. Additionally, work zone crashes have become so commonplace nowadays that each week, at least 12 people die in work zone accidents on the nation’s roadways. So, why are these work zones so dangerous?
As someone who has driven through road construction, you may have found detours difficult to follow, or potholes difficult to navigate around. You may, too, have noticed that road construction can make motorists more likely to stop suddenly, which can lead to rear-end collisions if other drivers behind them are not paying close attention.
While certain elements related to road work can make you more likely to get into a car wreck, other drivers acting negligently in work zones also enhance construction zone dangers. For example, drivers who speed in construction zones often cause crashes, with speed coming into play in 172 out of 607 fatal work zone crashes that took place in 2014. Drunk drivers, too, pose a substantial threat to the public in work zones as well as everywhere else, with about a quarter of 2014’s fatal work zone car wrecks involving alcohol abuse.
Road construction zones are undeniably dangerous, and many of the hazards you face all over the roads become exponentially more dangerous in these areas. While remaining extremely cautious while driving through them should help you stay safe to some extent, you can only do so much when other drivers continue to break the rules of the road.