California’s roadways are prone to frequent, heavy congestion. When road construction occurs, it often makes things even worse. Work zones are often more than a bother, though – statistics show that they are also common sites for car crashes.
According to Beworkzonealert.com, construction, maintenance and utility work are common throughout the year across much of the state. However, these areas contain many hazards that confuse motorists and contribute to car wrecks.
Work zone crash hazards
Work zones present numerous crash risks, from unclear or poorly marked detours to potholes, visual obstructions and workers in the roads. Not all construction zones have cones designating their borders, and many construction and maintenance workers also perform work outside of borders or barricades.
Motorists who exercise negligence in work zones create more crash hazards. Speed is a common element in many work zone crashes, and the state penalizes those who speed in work zones harshly. Drivers who text or drive, show aggression behind the wheel or drive while distracted may, too, face sanctions for their actions. Fines for such offenses may total $1,000 or more.
Tailgating is also especially dangerous in construction zones. Many car wrecks that occur within them are the result of drivers following too close to other vehicles. For this reason, motorists should take care to leave ample room between their cars and those in front of them when navigating these areas.
Work zone crash statistics
In 2013, car wrecks occurred in 45% of all California construction zones. The following year, there were 6,525 car wrecks in California’s work zones, with many of them resulting in at least one injury or fatality.