Road construction is sometimes unavoidable when you travel Washington’s roadways. However, these work zones are often quite dangerous to navigate. Work zones create numerous crash, injury and fatality risks, and while some of those risks relate to the construction itself, others arise from negligent drivers.
According to the Washington State Department of Transportation, Washington’s work zones are the sites of almost 726 injuries every year. Also, 94% of those who die in the state’s work zones are not construction workers, but rather, those driving or traveling in passenger vehicles. Why is it that these areas present such dangers to you and other motorists, and what might you do to enhance safety when traveling through them?
Top causes of work zone crashes
Most Washington work zone crashes are the result of one of three causes. Speed is among them. When drivers speed through work zones, they become less likely to be able to stop when the need arises and more prone to crashing. Drivers who follow too closely behind other vehicles also contribute to many work zone crashes. Driver inattentiveness and driver distraction, whether due to cellphone use or something else, round out the top three causes of construction zone car wrecks.
Work zone safety and survival tips
You may be able to boost the chances of navigating work zones unscathed by following all posted speed limits, exercising patience, avoiding distraction and paying close attention to new or changing traffic patterns. If you know a particular work zone exists, leave extra time to work through it or find an alternate route if one exists.