Would you be surprised to learn that about one-half of contractors working in highway work zones have seen a crash? And this statistic isn’t over the course of contractors’ careers but rather over a one-year period.
State departments of transportation have implemented various programs to make drivers aware of the dangers presented when traveling through work zones. Many of these efforts focus on drivers avoiding accidents with highway workers. In reality, however, most of the injuries received in work zones are to people driving through and their passengers.
The Associated General Contractors conducted a study of work zone crashes in several states. Their findings? Forty-six percent of road contractors had seen at least one crash in the last 12 months. Even worse, 30 percent had seen five or more crashes in the previous 12-month period.
In California, the results were just as striking. A full 48 percent of California contractors reported seeing at least one accident in the last year. Forty-five percent saw five or more accidents in the previous year, 18 percent had seen three, 15 percent had seen two, and 23 percent had seen only one. Imagine the volume of crashes that must be occurring for these statistics to be true.
The Federal Highway Administration reports that there were 67,523 work zone crashes in 2013. Although there has been a general trend of declines, 2011 saw 90,589 work zone crashes. That same year, 579 people died in work-zone-related crashes. Here are some of the factors that impact work zone accidents:
- alcohol use; and
- lack of seatbelt use.
And it isn’t just road workers who are at risk. In fact, the far majority of deaths in work zones were suffered by drivers and passengers in cars— a full 85%.
The next time you approach a work zone, reflect on these sobering statistics. By slowing down, increasing your following distance, and staying alert, you can make a difference not just for road workers but for yourself and your passengers.
You can rely on the San Francisco personal injury attorneys at Alexander Law Group, LLP to guide you through the difficult time that follows a serious accident. We are here for our clients and will passionately seek appropriate compensation for you as the result of your injuries or those of your loved ones. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.