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How often are work zones a factor in car accidents?

If you feel as if the city of Los Angeles and the entire state of California are constantly under construction, you are not alone. New roadways and communities are rising every day, and with all this new infrastructure comes a need for construction teams who can build and maintain it. Unfortunately, though, these road construction zones present substantial hazards for motorists, and the dangers associated with driving through them are considerable.

Furthermore, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration, work zone crashes are on the rise across the nation, with the number of construction zone car crashes skyrocketing more than 40 percent between 2013 and 2015. Just what is it about construction zones that make them so hazardous for motorists?

Work zones represent a break in a driver’s standard routine, and some motorists find changing traffic patterns especially tough to navigate. Certain hazards commonly found in work zones, such as potholes, visual obstructions and loose gravel, can lead to accidents on their own, but they are not the only hazards you face in these areas.

Often, your biggest risks come from other drivers who are behaving or driving negligently while traveling through work zones, rather than exercising the extra care these areas warrant. For example, while most drivers may be able to make their way through construction zones without a ton or trouble, those who speed or drink alcohol beforehand may find it especially difficult to avoid obstructions, make sudden stops and so on. Of the 607 fatal construction zone crashes that occurred in 2014, for example, a quarter of them involved a driver’s abuse of alcohol. Nearly 30 percent of 2014’s fatal work zone crashes, meanwhile, involved drivers who were speeding through these areas.

This information about the prevalence of work zone car wrecks is educational, only, and is not a substitute for legal advice.

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