When possible, you may try to avoid driving through California’s work zones, but doing so is not always feasible. When you have no choice but to travel through a construction zone, be sure to exercise caution, because the number of people dying in work zones across California and the nation is on the rise.
Per the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration, fatal work zone crashes increased by 1.4% between 2020 and 2021. While work zone crashes rose during this span, fatal crashes, in general, decreased by 6.6%. This raises questions about why work zones are becoming increasingly dangerous while, overall, the nation’s roadways appear to be becoming safer.
Work zone crash statistics
While certain types of fatal work zone crashes, such as those resulting from rear-end collisions, decreased between 2020 and 2021, other types of fatal crashes increased in these areas. The number of fatal work zone wrecks where speed was a factor rose during this timeframe. There was also a significant, or a 21%, increase, in the number of cyclists and pedestrians who lost their lives in work zones between 2020 and 2021.
Work zone safety tips
Many work zone wrecks are preventable. You may be able to do your part to enhance work zone safety by slowing down and following all signage. Make sure, too, to leave ample room between you and the cars or trucks in front of you. You may also want to tap your brakes several times when coming to a stop in work zones to help ensure motorists behind you stop in time.
Drivers who act negligently in construction zones and injure or kill others due to their actions may face significant sanctions.