Car Accidents Caused By Construction Zones –Let the Numbers Tell the Story
Over the 10 years from 2003 through 2012, Texas ranked as the state with the most worker deaths in work zones (131), followed in rank order by Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, California, Georgia, and Indiana.
Roadway work zones are not just dangerous for the workers who build, repair, and maintain our nation’s streets, bridges, and highways. They are also dangerous for motorists who drive through the confusing mix of signs, barrels, and sudden lane changes.
In 2012, Florida ranked as one of the three states with the most motor vehicle crash fatalities in construction and maintenance work zones—with over 50 deaths.
Every day, road construction zones risks the lives of drivers. Our law firm has compiled the following statistics to bring awareness to the dangers of work zones and to encourage increased safety.
Highway Safety Work zone Statistics (2012):
- Highway construction sites can be particularly hazardous at night — when drivers are unprepared for sudden stops, lane closures, and detours.
- The Florida Department of Transportation Work Zone Safety website reports that more than 50 percent of road work site / traffic crashes occur after dark, and that 90 percent of people who perish in road construction zone accidents are motorists and pedestrians.
- Backing vehicles accounted for 11 of the 66 pedestrian vehicular incidents.
- Forty-five % of the fatalities were contributed to excessive speed in the work zone.
How does Florida stack up? According to the Florida Department of Transportation website, they say, for years, Florida has been one of the top three states with the most fatalities in the work zone. This is one category Florida is not proud to rank first in, but they are working towards reducing the number of construction related fatalities and car accidents by implementing the following programs:
- Implementation of the Motorist Awareness System – The goal of the Motorist Awareness System (MAS) is to achieve the same respect for work zones that Florida’s school zones receive. Florida school zones receive high compliance for the speed limit, with and without law enforcement present.
- Temporary Raised Rumble Strips for Flagging Operations – Are used in addition to regular warning signs/devices on the approach to flagging operations where additional alertness is required of drivers approaching flagging operations.
- More In-depth Process Reviews and Training – Review three projects per district and four districts per year and conduct hands on training. The current training topic – crash cushions.
- Public Service Announcements – The FDOT Safety Office creates tip cards, work zone safety posters, website, press releases, and safety films.
Is it working?
While the numbers continue to go down, both in the U.S. and Florida, Florida still ranks as one of the top three states indicating additional training and awareness is still needed.
Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS)
Work Zone Fatalities
Year US FL
2005 1074 162
2006 1004 118
2007 835 92
2008 720 81
2009 680 82
2010 576 43