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How risky are construction zones to drivers?

If you have been driving on Colorado's highways, you have no doubt seen the signs warning you about construction zones and traffic. They are ubiquitous, and very necessary, because workers are often injured when motorists lose control or lose track of where individuals working on the road are standing in relation to traffic lanes. More often, though, construction zone accidents involve two or more vehicles and do not involve workers, so you need to have a better understanding of those risks and how to be vigilant and defensive when driving in construction zones.

Understanding the statistics

The Federal Highway Administration, a branch of the Department of Transportation, collects numbers on traffic fatalities in a variety of situations. The office has been tracking these numbers for a period of years, and has found a few surprising facts that you should know:

  • Fatal traffic accidents in construction zones are increasing again after almost a decade of decreasing.
  • Fatal traffic accidents outside of construction zones seem to be relatively flat.
  • This implies that there are actually fewer non-construction accidents happening, although more investigation into the raw numbers would be needed to know for sure.
  • There are usually between 600 and 700 fatalities in traffic accidents in construction zones each year.
  • Fewer than 150 fatalities each year are construction workers.
  • Of the fatal accidents in construction zones, 65 percent happen during the day.

If you drive in and around construction often, it is important to understand these numbers and the risks they outline, and to drive defensively so that you can minimize the risk while you are on the road.

Defensive driving for construction zones

The best things you can do to make driving safer in construction zones are actually the same as the things you can do outside of them, it i s just more important to be diligent and to resist the pressure to modify your behavior. That means obeying the posted speed restrictions in work zones, running with the appropriate lighting, and keeping several car lengths between yourself and the next vehicle on the road.

If you are injured

If you wind up injured in a car accident that happened in a construction zone, you might be able to recover damages that will help pay for your medical costs. The only way to know is to contact an accident attorney with the experience to be able to help you decide whether or not you have a case.

Contact one as soon as you are able to help yourself find out if you can pursue compensation for your injuries.

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