As communities grow across New Jersey and the nation and more motorists start driving the same roads, road construction becomes increasingly necessary to accommodate this influx of drivers. Yet, construction zones present many hazards for drivers. Research shows that these areas are becoming more dangerous for drivers to navigate.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration, the number of people dying in the nation’s work zones has reached a 15-year high.
Work zone crash statistics
Work zone crash deaths have reached their highest number since 2006, and the number of people dying in these areas has risen steadily in recent years. In 2019, there were 842 work zone crash deaths that took place across the nation. The year prior, there were 757 such deaths, amounting to an 11.2% increase.
Work zone crash hazards
What is it about road construction that makes it so hazardous for drivers to navigate? Some of the dangers in work zones involve actual road construction. Loose gravel, unclear detours, workers in the roadway and visual obstructions are all common contributors to work zone car wrecks.
Other hazards result from drivers behaving negligently while navigating construction zones. Speed is a frequent factor in work zone car crashes. Alcohol abuse is, too. Driver distraction and drivers traveling too closely behind other vehicles are also common work zone issues, with rear-end collisions a common occurrence in these areas.
Though it is not always possible, New Jersey motorists may want to give themselves extra time to find alternate routes when they know road construction exists in a certain area.