In the Pacific Northwest, warmer weather means road construction season. Road construction can seem endless but projects are often necessary to keep roads in good driving condition or to expand roadways to adapt to increased traffic flow. Flaggers are usually in place to remind drivers to slow down, navigate around pot holes, debris and cones, and to help cars take turns but road construction accidents do happen. To avoid an accident, it is best to slow way down, follow the instructions of the flagger and be aware of pot holes and equipment on the road.
Road Construction Accident Statistics
- In 2010, there were 87,606 car accidents in work zones which accounted for just 1.6% of total roadway crashes in that year.
- Only 0.6 percent of road construction accidents were fatal, 30% were injury crashes and 69% were property damage only crashes.
- There were 37,476 injuries in road construction work zones in 2010. This means that there was one work zone injury every 14 minutes (96 a day), or about four people injured every hour.
- Texas, California, and Florida ranked as the States with the highest number of motor vehicle crash fatalities in construction and maintenance work zones in 2012, each with at least 50 deaths.
- In 2012, 75% of occupational fatalities in work zones occurred to workers in the following occupations: construction laborers, highway maintenance workers, heavy and tractor trailer truck drivers, first-line supervisors of construction and extraction workers, and construction equipment operators.
- In 2010, there were 514 fatal road construction accidents which caused 576 fatalities.
- 576 fatalities in a year is equal to one work zone fatality every 15 hours (or 1.6 a day) and 2% of all roadway fatalities that year.
- The number of work zone fatalities has been steadily decreasing since 2002. There was a 51% decrease in work zone fatalities between 2002 and 2010 compared to a 23% decrease in overall highway fatalities during that timeframe.
- Common Factors of Road Construction Car Accident Fatalities
- Not wearing a seatbelt (53% of cases)
- Speeding (31% of cases)
- Alcohol (20% of cases)
- Time of Day