No one traveling New Jersey’s roadways wants to encounter road construction. However, recent research shows that construction zones are not only a nuisance but also quite dangerous. The number of people dying in work zone car crashes across the nation rose 11.2% between 2018 and 2019, marking the largest single-year increase since 2006.
Per the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration, 842 people died in construction zone wrecks nationwide in 2019. The year prior, 757 people died in work zone crashes. Many work zone car wrecks that take place across American share similar characteristics in common.
How drivers contribute to work zone crashes
Distracted driving is a frequent contributor to work zone car crashes. Often, drivers who are on their phones, using in-vehicle systems or otherwise driving while distracted find themselves unable to react appropriately to the changing road conditions they might encounter in work zones. Speed is also a common factor in work zone car wrecks. In many cases, drivers who speed in work zones are unable to make sudden stops when the situation warrants it, resulting in rear-end collisions.
How construction contributes to work zone crashes
Other work zone crash hazards are the direct result of the ongoing construction. Loose gravel, decreased visibility, potholes or unfamiliar detours may all increase crash risks in work zones. Flaggers who are unclear in their directions may also confuse motorists in these areas, leading to crashes.
Drivers may be able to decrease their chances of involvement in a work zone car crash by slowing down, avoiding all distractions and tapping their brakes when slowing to a stop.