Given the number of people who travel New York’s roadways every day, it makes sense that the state’s roads require near-constant construction and upkeep. While road construction is an unavoidable reality in most modern urban areas, this does not make traveling through construction zones any safer for motorists and passengers. In fact, the number of people losing their lives in the nation’s work zones is climbing, shining a spotlight on just how dangerous these work zones often are.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration, the number of construction zone fatalities across the nation climbed 3% between 2016 and 2017. The number of total automotive fatalities across the country, however, decreased by 1.5%, highlighting the dangerous nature of these work zones. Just what is it about these areas of the roadway that make them so dangerous to navigate?

In some cases, it comes down to a simple issue of visibility. Construction equipment, signage and construction workers are just a few examples of the types of things that can block your view or prevent you from seeing clearly in a work zone. Changing traffic patterns, too, often cause confusion among motorists who typically travel in a particular manner, and this, too, makes work zones especially dangerous places to drive.

Speed, too, is a common contributing factor in fatal and nonfatal work zone car wrecks. In 2016, for example, speed was a factor in 194 of the nation’s work zone road deaths, while this figure climbed to 203 in 2017.

This copy about the dangers associated with driving in work zones is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice.

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